How well do you know yourself? That’s a huge question! Our staff team is spending some time considering this question over the next six weeks. We’re working through a book together called; “The Enneagram Made Easy” by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele.
The Enneagram is an ancient study of the nine different types of people. They are our family, friends, students, co-workers and team mates. The Enneagram helps us understand our predisposition towards certain behaviors, or what motivates us toward certain actions. Building thriving relationships requires mutual understanding and respect. Becoming a student of human personalities can provide huge benefits across all of our relationships.
Jesus taught us that we should love God and love our neighbour … “as our self” (Mark 12:30-31). Neighbor love and self-love is Jesus’ idea. An obstacle to loving self and others well is ‘faulty awareness and mutual misunderstanding.’ We make assumptions all the time about ourselves, and we create false expectations for our self that leaves us in a chronic state of disappointment and frustration.
We can be easily misunderstood, and we are often quick to misunderstand others. We’re complex people and as Scriptures teaches; “We are wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) – but we’re complicated! We’ve grown up with family systems, and have been exposed to a wide spectrum of experiences that have shaped us.
We’ve been ‘hard-wired’ by God with a personality – and that personality has default settings. Paying attention to our default settings and processing our back-story is critical to self-understanding.
According to the Enneagram, the nine different kinds of people are …
As the people of God, we acknowledge that we are ‘made on purpose, for a purpose!’ Self-understanding and acceptance of both self and others are important aspects of being well-positioned to make the contribution we were intended to make in life.
There is no question about it – we all have room to grow! The Enneagram does not invite us to justify our short-comings, or to embrace our dysfunction; but it does give us language help grow our understanding of ourselves and the people we live and work with every day.
Getting to know yourself and others is time well-spent! You never know, you may just learn to like yourself and others even more!