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The Gospel for Every Enneagram Number

One: the Reformer

"I want to be in total control of myself. And by that I mean that I want to make myself good. I've done pretty well, but I can't shut-up that inner critique who is always guilting me if I mess up and who is always pointing out ways that I could be better. I have exhausted myself in the trying. So now I must admit that no matter how hard I try, I cannot reform myself enough to give me peace and contentment. And that I am in need of another perspective. 

"I want to submit myself to a new management, God's management. It is only through my submission to his control within me that I can do the right thing with the right heart. I don't ever need to fear of acting wrong again because God will never judge or condemn me. He has made me good enough already because of a credit to my account, so to speak. Based on no deposits of my own, Jesus credited his own perfect life to my account. According to God, who is the ultimate authority on goodness, I am called holy already. Now, instead of desperately striving to conquer all the wickedness in me, I can relax knowing that God is leading me on a journey towards completeness. 

"And when that inner critique comes calling, I can tell it, 'I am already good enough.'" 

Two: the Helper

"I want to be loved. And I do that by giving to others what I want for myself in the hopes that they will love me back, that they won't see my needs as a burden, but understand my heart. Why is this so hard for people? Can't they see that what they say hurts me? Can't they put themselves in my shoes? I always put myself in their shoes. But it never works out like that, especially with those I expect to love me the most. They just don't get it. I need to find love elsewhere."

"I need to confess all my needs to God because he is the only one who knows all my wounds and is capable of doctoring them. He knows my heart's aches and fears and desperations, and he declares that I am still valuable enough to save. He wants me, even in my incomplete and needy state, and he demonstrated that by sending his only son to the cross for me. Because I trust his great love and forgiveness for me, I find it easy to forgive the desperateness of others."

"Now when others don't say what I need to hear, I can remember that God has said it already."

Three: the Achiever

"I want to be accepted for who I am, but I'm pretty sure only shining stars who have done well and have things together are liked. I've presented that to people, this shining star version of myself, but it doesn't seem to be working. I just can't understand why people wouldn't like me. Why do they push me away? Haven't I done everything right? I need a new way to find acceptance."

"I need to wrap my worth around Christ Jesus as the shining star. I need to sidestep the front stage and identify myself with him who acted out the perfect person and received total acceptance from God. Because Christ Jesus is living inside me, I can turn myself inside-out before God and never fear that I'm not presentable."

"Now when someone doesn't like me, I can remember that God accepts me for who I are, and who I am is found in the glory of Christ.'"

Four: the Individualist

"I want someone to understand me and all that I'm feeling. But I'm afraid that if I tell someone, then they'll pigeon hole me. That's why this Enneagram thing can't work for me. I am not a number. Some generic description can't explain all that I am and all that I feel. Who I am is locked up inside and no one can know it. But I need someone to know it!"

"I need to believe that God is acquainted with all my ways and has fearfully and wonderfully made me. I need my soul to know that full well so that every new overcoming feeling is placed before God like a treasure that he loves and deems meaningful, even my shame of past mistakes. Because of Christ's blood that covers all I have ever done or felt, there is nothing about me that God views with disdain. I need to trust that God sees me differently than I or the world sees me. He knows all of me, accepts all of me, and has assigned me a unique way of reflecting his beauty."

"So when the voices in my head say that no one could understand me and still love me, I must remember, God does and he made me to reflect his beauty."

Five: the Observer

"I want to understand everything about this world before I do anything. I need to decide exactly what I think before I add anything to this discussion or commit to that event or accept that gift. But I've come to realize that I can't know enough. I keep finding more angles, additional facts, other events. And the acquisition of more information has paralyzed me into inactivity."

"I want to trust myself to God's understanding. He made this world. He knows all the parts and how they work together. And because his spirit is living within me, I have access to the wisdom needed in this exact moment to enter it unreservedly. I can trust in his knowledge instead of my own. And by trusting him, I silence the noise in my mind telling me that I must stop moving in order to acquire."

"Now, when the desperation to withdraw seizes me, I can remember that God's understanding is enough to keep me engaged."

Six: the Loyalist

"I want to know whom and what to trust. I don't want to be surprised. But there's just no guarantees. Some people I thought were good weren't. And even when I prepared for the worst, I felt there was still something horrible approaching in the future that I couldn't avoid. I'm petrified by fear and exhausted by trying to make the best choices in light of all the possibilities. I need assurance of security."

"I need to remember that no event is a surprise to God, and nothing that happens will destroy his good work in me. I need not fret about making the perfect choices because my God will supply all that I need: the courage to meet every situations, the fortitude to remain steady when the unexpected happens, and the right measure of trust for people without turning them into gods."

"Now when I'm afraid, I can remember that God has secured my future."

Seven: the Enthusiast

"I want to escape all those dark thoughts that are just too awful to even name. I've kept things light and happy, throwing myself into one idea after another, but the darkness keeps following me like a stalking lion. I can't turn and face it. My distractions are useless in that dark place. I'm not strong enough. I need someone to protect my joy if ever I am going to pass through my sorrows and fears."

"I need a comforter beside me who has been through all these difficult emotions—betrayal, grief, loss, rejection, loneliness, disappointment—and who can uphold me in the midst of them. I need God to tell me that even if I enter into them, I'm going to be alright in the end, that this darkness isn't going to consume me, and that afterwards my tears will turn into dancing. I need to fix my eyes upon the Lord when I need hope in a brighter tomorrow."

"Then when I feel the pain, I can remember that God will see me through."

Eight: the Challenger

"I want to stay in control! I don't ever want to get into a place where I'm cornered and can't get out, where my weaknesses are exposed and unhonored. I've built up this tough shell, this list of accomplishments, this avoidance of emotion, this force to make things happen, but it has turned people against me time and time again. Those I want to protect push away, give in, betray. I need a new way of asserting my power."

"I need God to assure me that his power won't be used against me or the people I love. I need to trust that God is the one in authority even when I feel bound. I need to give up my over-eagerness to make things happen to trust what God in his omnipotent power is already doing."

"Then when I crave to take the reins and drive, I can trust that God is steering and empowering and protecting far better than I ever could. He will never walk away from me."

Nine: the Peacemaker

"I want to stay uninvolved. I want to keep myself afloat, hovering outside of sticky situations and uncomfortable emotions. This is the way I make sure no one controls me or makes me feel anything. I've tried not to care too much to keep myself free but this detachment has made me numb inside. I'm tired of narcotizing with T.V. and sleep. I need a new way to wake myself up."

"I want God to break down the walls both inside and out so that my whole self—mind, will, and emotions—enters into all of life, even the uncomfortable bits. I need to trust that God will provide my inner peace even if I show up in anger or grief or fear or just a really strong opinion."

"So when I'm tempted to keep afloat, I can act powerfully for it is God who is acting within me."


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