My head hurts.
I started to read an article for pastors on the Enneagram on Christianity Today this evening. It included a link to an Enneagram test, which, of course, I immediately felt compelled to take.
I’ve got a friend who is very into the Enneagram, so I picked up the book The Road Back to You, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it yet. I had, however, read a chapter about it in a personality book and tried to identify myself. Then on a Barnes and Noble date night, I scanned another Enneagram for dummies or some-such-titled book to try to identify myself. I’d sort of settled on which of the nine Enneagram numbers I might be. The test I took tonight gave me a different number. I read the descriptions. I read the comparisons of the two. I ended up with a headache.
I don’t know what number I am. I’m not sure that it matters, even though I’m told it will help me live my life more authentically.
But here’s something I do know about myself from my Bible reading a few weeks ago, something I would be better off reminding myself of several times a day:
I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!
For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation
and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding
or a bride with her jewels.
What I know is that God has dressed me in the clothing of salvation. He’s draped a robe of righteousness around me, so that when he looks at Carol what he sees is purity and Christ’s righteousness. I am decked out as though I’m the bride or the groom at a very fancy wedding. (I didn’t have any jewels at my wedding, but I loved my dress, and Les was stylin’ that baby blue tux.)
God is beaming at me, smiling from ear to ear, because I am his. He is dazzled by my righteousness and my beauty as his daughter, as part of the bride of Christ.
When I get too critical of myself, when I scan the list of the Enneagram negative traits and see them all in me, when my to-do list is left mostly undone because I spent too much time on social media or playing solitaire (or taking Enneagram tests), God still smiles. He loves. He welcomes. He sees righteousness and beauty.
That’s why with Isaiah I should be shouting, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God!” How freeing to not be graded on my performance. How joyous to be lavishly loved as I John 3:1 says:
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
How beautiful to know that God responds to me the way he did to Israel:
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
I am loved. I am accepted. I am delighted in. I am not being scolded for my shortcomings, my imperfections; I am being sung about with joy!
That releases the pressure in my head.
And it should release yours as well. Because no matter your personality type, your Enneagram type, your flaws, God is celebrating you! He sees you in Christ’s perfection and you dazzle him with your beauty.
Let’s live in alignment with who we truly are. This is our identity: We are the beloved of the King of Kings. We are the bride of the Lord of Lords, and he’s decked us out in all his glory!
How would reminding yourself of that TRUTH every morning and every evening change your perspective on life? How would it increase your joy?