Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Four: Being Christ-Actualized.
Our reading for today: Philippians 2: 3-4 (MsgB)
Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.
Thus far, we’ve investigated the three personality types (Enneagram #8, #9, #1) associated with The Gut Triad, folks who are fighting issues of anger and resentment. Today, we conclude our study of the three personality types (Enneagram #2, #3, #4) from The Heart Triad, people who are plagued by issues of shame and pride. Next time, we’ll begin our look at the final three personality types (Enneagram #5, #6, #7) flowing out The Head Triad, men and women who struggle with issues of fear and anxiety.
So today, let’s look a bit deeper at The Individualist (Enneagram #4) from The Heart Triad. Those whose personalities come from The Heart Triad (#2, #3, #4), like myself, walk through life dealing with a deep sense of shame, and are preoccupied with image. We #2’s (The Helper) overcome our shame by our warmth and helpfulness to others. (If I give then I can’t be faulty … and others will see me as loving.) The strategy of #3’s (The Achiever) is to gain the applause of others through their successes and achievements. But the #4’s (The Individualist, or sometimes called The Romantic) accomplish the same thing by being unlike others, by following the beat of a different drummer. They try to attract attention and admiration by way of contrast.
The good news is that Jesus and His amazing grace can heal these deep wounds of shame and pride, but sadly very few Individualists actually take the time to embrace the healing and hope that can come through this amazing God-given transformation we call being Christ-actualized.
Take a look at our overview of The Individualist (Enneagram #4) and see if any of these qualities sound like you:
THE INDIVIDUALIST (Enneagram #4)
The Heart Triad: Feeling-oriented. feeling-driven, emotionally-centered, decisions from the heart, people-focused. When encountering life, the first reaction is to feel something. Tends to feel before doing or thinking. Shame is always waiting beneath the surface.
#4’s internalize shame, hoping to accomplish acceptance by pulling away from the world, achieving attention and admiration by being unlike others, following the beat of a different drummer.
#4’s are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.
Adjectives that describe #4: Idealistic, deeply feeling, sensitive, empathetic, caring, intense, special-ness oriented, creative disposition, authentic to self, introspective, and expressive, but also sometimes dramatic, moody, changeable, self-conscious, unsatisfied, and self-absorbed.
Key Motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a “rescuer.”
Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance.
Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity).
#4 struggles with: envy/melancholy/authenticity.
#4’s motto: I am different, original & cultured.
#4’s response to life: Why did you do this to me?
#4 strives: to be unique.
#4 avoids: ordinariness.
#4 unconscious childhood message: It’s not okay to be too functional or too happy.
#4 lost childhood message: I am seen for who I am.
#4 true essence: A reflection of creativity and depth.
What will it mean for a #4 The Individualist to be Christ-actualized? (The Meaning of the Arrows)
When moving in Desolation (under stress), aloof #4’s suddenly become over-involved and clinging, becoming like the unhealthy side of a #2. However, when moving in Consolation (becoming Christ-actualized), envious, emotionally turbulent #4’s become more objective and principled, like healthy #1’s.
What does God’s Word have to say to a #4?
So, are you an Enneagram #4? Does this personality type sound a lot like the way you feel and act in life? If so, take heart. A Christ-actualized #4 can become, by the direction of the Holy Spirit, a man or woman of God who truly becomes a highly creative, pro-actively involved servant in a world where ingenuity and creativity are often lacking. A godly #4 no longer is controlled by envy and self-centeredness, but becomes a focused individualist who brings creativity to life, inspiring others along the way.
My prayer: Thank You for seeking me, for never stopping to seek me. Open me to the intimate connection between us that I may rest in Your grace. Empty me of my shame and self-rejection and soften my comparing mind and my longing, that I may know gratitude for what I have and for who I am. Guide me in the path of appreciation for the beauty and possibility that surrounds me, that is within me. Sacred Source of my life, ground me in my inner calm and remind me of the holy and the beautiful in the ordinary. Open my eyes and my heart to see Your grace-filled touch in all of life. From this “seeing” I know there really are no ordinary moments, for all is sacred. For Your name’s sake. Amen. (thanks to Sandra Smith/AlchemyWorksEvents.com)
My questions to ponder: If I see #4 qualities in my life, which are the most obvious? Where am I subject to the weaknesses found in a #4 and how might I allow the Holy Spirit to work deep within me, transforming these #4 wounds into glorious opportunities of hope?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
For more info: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-4/
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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