Post-Practice: Lectio Divina + The Enneagram
We're two weeks into our exploration of practices and resources that help us lean into our origin, our God given identity as image bearers and sons and daughters of God, and thought it a good time to check in.
How's it been, looking into Lectio Divina and The Enneagram?
Have you tried engaging these on your own, with others?
Where have you felt that either or both of these have been helpful to you in paying attention to God's thoughts about you, God's love for you?
Where have you felt struggle or confusion in regards to either of these practices?
What questions do you have in regards to these practices?
Finally, here are a few resources to help us as we continue to discover and utilize these two resources for practicing the faith.
Here's the handout that Jannen Steer gave us during her time guiding us into this practice that shares what it is and how to do it.
Here's a great video overview by James Martin [You may have seen him on Colbert back in the day].
Eugene Peterson, who crafted The Message rendition of The Bible, has a great section on Lectio Divina in his book Eat This Book: A Conversation In The Art Of Spiritual Reading [a really great book about how to approach, read and engage The Bible].
Here's an overview of this resource by Marilyn Vancil, who guided us into an introduction of it: "This ancient spiritual discernment tool provides profound insights about the human personality. It reveals the core filters through which we view God, ourselves, others, and life in general. It taps into our deeper story, going below the surface to inner motivations, ardent longings, and deep sufferings. This personality model sheds light on the ways we have hidden our true selves to create a protective persona in order to earn love, ensure our security, and maintain control over our lives. The word Enneagram simply means “nine-drawing.” It describes 9 distinct ways we are held captive by habitual patterns, 9 underlying drives that influence why we feel, think, and act as we do, and 9 filters that determine how we react to our circumstances. Most importantly, it reveals 9 manifestations of God that each of us has been created to experience and express…and 9 ways we are held back from that. Once we identify our dominant Enneagram type, we are able to move beyond our inhibiting patterns toward a deeper and more authentic spiritual, personal, and relational life. We can understand and accept both the contributions and the challenges of our particular style. And, as the scriptures tell us in Ephesians 4:22-24, we are to put off our “old self” with its deceitful desires and put on our “renewed self” created to be like God. The power of the Enneagram is how accurately it helps us discern the characteristics of our old self, so we can put it off more decisively. Then, we can step into the freedom of becoming God’s unique reflection…our original design!"
Here are a few books on the subject that you may find helpful:
Self To Lose, Self To Find: A Biblical Approach To The Nine Enneagram Types, Marilyn Vancil
The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile
The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide, David Daniels & Virginia Price
Here's a great podcast series on The Enneagram from the folks who put together The Road Back To You. A few of the recent episodes are on: Enneagram in Leadership with Michael Hyatt [Enneagram 3], The Enneagram in Life, Work & Marriage with Wade & Heather Hodges [Enneagram 3 & 8], and Learning You Have A Voice, Insights From Sara Bessey [Enneagram 9].
Finally, here are a few words of encouragement related to this resource.
1. An assessment doesn't define you. Let any assessment be in service to you, not in control of or the labeler of you. Feel free to simply consider the 9 types before taking any assessment [The Essential Enneagram, listed above, is a great resource that relies on self-discovery, as opposed to an assessment].
2. If you aren't sure which type best aligns with who you are, don't worry about it, take your time, talk about it with folks who know and love you.
3. Resist the temptation to call others a number. "Oh, you're just being a __ [whatever number associated with a type of The Enneagram]."
4. Marvel in the beautiful diversity around you. As you discover the 9 types, and begin to appreciate those you're planted among, give thanks for all of God's creativity and goodness made visible in all of us.
5. The path of knowing and becoming ourselves is a life long journey. Approach The Enneagram, and resources like it, with that in mind. Resist the temptation to treat the Enneagram as a novelty for today, as the next momentary obsession. Instead, give yourself to the day by day practice of being present, of being aware, of listening, of learning.