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(This story was originally published in print on Nov. 14, 2019).
There are approximately 7.7 billion people who currently populate the world and none of them are the same. Everyone has different interests, passions and beliefs. Regardless of our vast differences, many people tend to have similar personality traits. One method of finding these personality traits is by taking the enneagram test. This system works as a means to help people discover themselves by revealing their strengths, weaknesses and even sub-personality types. It is a useful tool that college students can implement in order to recognize how they interact with themselves and others and how they can best serve the kingdom of God.
According to Growth Marketing Pro, the enneagram test is “a way of categorizing the human psyche into nine different personality types.” It is a beneficial method for people to understand their personality as well as the personalities of those around them, helping people gain social and self-awareness. The enneagram explores and reveals the depth of our behavior and personality traits.
Read more “the enneagram test should not define personality.”
JOURNEY OF SELF DISCOVERY
Whether young adults are trying to find which character in Star Wars they are most similar to or which animal they best relate to, personality tests grant a feeling of identity. According to NBC News, people like to have “confirmation of their qualities” that these tests deliver. Since 1962, an estimated 50 million people have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test because these questionnaires allow people to better understand the qualities of their personality.
Ranging from one to nine, the enneagram system helps organize the personalities of perfectionists, leaders, dreamers, achievers and more. When I took the enneagram test, my result was a type nine, which is defined as a “peacemaker,” “mediator or “diplomat.” My weaknesses were listed in the description of my personality type, as well as my strengths and successes. For the most part, this test was accurate in its description of me. Being able to see my personality helped me discover different aspects of my character.
REVEALING STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
The enneagram can be used to shine a light on the strengths and weaknesses that contribute to our personality. Relevant Magazine writes that “the enneagram makes sanctification specific by giving us a roadmap to where we most need God’s healing.” It can convict us and call us out on our faults. By revealing our imperfections, the enneagram offers us a path to grow in ways we did not realize we needed to.
When I first saw my enneagram result- a nine- I was ecstatic to be a peacemaker. However, after further research about the enneagram type, I was convicted when I read that because of my desire for peace in friendships, I can become complacent and downplay serious issues. I saw this as an opportunity for growth. As Christians, we must change our old ways and grow in the likeness of Christ. Ephesians 4:22-24 tells us that we are called to “put off the old self” and “to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness.”
A WAY TO LOVE PEOPLE
It is important to remember that there is much more to us than just a number from the enneagram or a few letters from Myers-Briggs. Personalities are complex. Personality tests can help us learn about who we are created to be so we can apply that knowledge to our personalities in our daily lives. We can use it to understand those around us. Whether they are our roommates, significant others, siblings or co-workers, we can use the knowledge gained from the enneagram test to better serve and love them. In a way, it is similar to Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. We can best serve others when we have a spirit of compassion, care and mercy.
Another article by Relevant explains how the enneagram helps us affirm others as well. In our relationships, we can encourage our friends in their qualities and help them “become their best selves,” choosing to focus on the positive aspects of each other. Around the world, people have personalities and desires that complement each other, which can be revealed through the enneagram test. People can relate to one another, sharing their enneagram types. Though I may have a different background or worldview as another nine, through the enneagram we can relate in our core-value of peacemaking.
So go on, take the enneagram test and have fun with it. Discover the depths of your personality and find ways to thrive as a Christian, as a student and as a friend. Do not shy away from your weaknesses, take them as an opportunity for growth and change. God can use this to sanctify you. He has created us all differently and “He loves us very much.”