Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Four: Being Christ-Actualized.
Our reading for today: John 3: 31-32 (MsgB)
Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in Him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are My disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
Last time, we introduced you to the Enneagram. An ancient tool of self-understanding and self-awareness.
Sandy and I were first introduced to the Enneagram when we were taking our two-year training course in spiritual direction. Up until that time, I’d never heard of the thing, and to be quite honest, I was a bit skeptical of it as I started to read my first book on the subject. Over the years, I’d taken numerous personality and gift-mix tests (Myers & Briggs, and others) and while I’d usually come away with some interesting facts and figures about myself and others, I’ve generally found that while the data provided by such tests is interesting and revealing, I’d rarely see long-term benefits in my day-to-day life or in the life of others. Generally, I found that once a person finds out their “secret code” or whatever a certain test reveals, they’d go around poking their finger in other people’s lives, implying that they had more info on their friends’ than they did, leaving the whole matter relatively worthless or demeaning.
“I’m an I-S-T-J and you’re an E-N-T-J…na-na-na-na-nah!”
So, during the school-year of 2013-14, as Dave Nixon, our magnificent instructor in spiritual direction, started his lecture on the Enneagram, my attitude, to say the least, wasn’t too good. But then, Dave said something that caught my attention. Right off the bat, he said that one of the cardinal rules surrounding the use of the Enneagram is that this ancient tool, when used correctly, is designed exclusively only for the use of the person taking it. In other words, the information that is revealed within the work of the Enneagram is strictly limited to the issues of self-awareness and self-understanding.
So, with that being said, let me finish today’s blog by telling you my Enneagram story.
As I mentioned last time, of the nine descriptive paragraphs offered (see chart #2), I truly resonated with paragraph D, and then I found myself also thinking, to a degree, that paragraph E, and then paragraph C, partially describes me as well. After some time with Dave Nixon and his presentation on the Enneagram, I came to the conclusion that indeed, in Enneagram language, my personality type is firmly established in the Heart Triad, and that I am a strong Enneagram #2 (The Helper). I also discovered that my unique personality has two “wings” (corresponding traits that come from Enneagram #3 (The Performer), and to a lesser degree Enneagram #1 (The Perfectionist).
Now, those last few sentences might seem like gobbilty-gook to you right now, but if you stick with us over the next few blog sessions, I’m going to walk you through each of the nine Enneagram personality types, and if the Spirit of God is in this, my guess is that you will begin to find yourself in the midst of this study.
Which now brings me to the point of my story.
It’s one thing to understand the Enneagram and its’ results, but it’s yet another thing to open yourself up to the work of Christ going on inside you, take the information you receive from the Enneagram, and allow God’s Spirit to show you how all of this can work together for good in your life.
You see, most of my life (65 years as I now write this), sadly, has been defined by what I do…my job, my work, and my profession. But with the help of the Enneagram, God’s bigger picture has become a bit clearer for me. You see, with the help of the results of my Enneagram test, I now better understand Marty Boller…The Helper. I now can appreciate the unique gifts that God gives to an Enneagram #2, but I also understand the great personal challenges that are evident for a person like myself who is a strong Enneagram #2, with a moderate #3 wing, and a lesser-weighted #1 wing.
And through it all, I say, thank You, Lord, for revealing more of who I am…and giving me language to better understand myself and the uniqueness of the man of God Jesus desires me to become. The Christ-activated man my Creator has planned for me from long before I was born.
Next time, we’ll give you an overview of how to best use the information we’re giving you here. Join us!
My prayer: Jesus, ultimately it’s Your Word and Your Truth that sets me free, yet I thank You that there are tools out there in this world, that when used in Your company and for Your glory, that can assist me to better understand Truth, particularly when it focuses on the good/bad/and ugly of who I am. Keep revealing Truth, Holy Spirit. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: Becoming Christ-activated doesn’t happen without dealing with Truth…and nothing but the Truth. So today, am I willing to allow God’s Spirit to reveal Truth about me, even if everything I find out is not all good news? Am I willing to keep walking with Jesus, even when the Truth hurts?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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