I’m not sure if you have heard about the Enneagram, but it’s basically changing our lives. This ENTJ is a sucker for all the things that involve knowing oneself, but I have to say that the Enneagram is probably one of the best discoveries I’ve made in this department. StrengthsFinders is hearty #2. Put both together and I’m pretty sure you’ll be ready to conquer the world….or you’ll at least understand yourself a lot better.

This is my warning: self-discovery and self-evaluation are a bit painful. In particular, the Enneagram is really good at highlighting specific sin-patterns. However, be encouraged because no amount of self-discovery negates the truth of Psalm 139:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

You discern my thoughts from afar.

You search out my path and my lying down

And are acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139:1-3

God already knows you. If you really press in, you’ll discover some things about yourself that you don’t like. We’ve all got blind-spots. Even though it may be “new” information to you, it’s not new to God. He already knows. He already understands you better than you understand yourself. As we grow older, I think we just realize more an more how much we’ve needed God’s grace and patience all along. It’s also true that gut-level praise for His faithfulness to us rings out truer and truer over the years.

After much angst and a few misidentifications (In my opinion, it’s best if you self-diagnose with this one rather than taking an online test), I finally discovered that I am 100% a SEVEN on the Enneagram.

If you are familiar with the Enneagram then there is a chance that you instantly better understand me, if not, then you’re likely wondering what in the world it means to “be a seven.” I don’t have the time or space to go into it all right now but if you get the book linked here (The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery) or check out the website full of free information here, then you can discover all the goodies for yourself.

I will tell you this about sevens, we avoid pain and sadness. Everyone does to a certain extent. None of us want to experience pain. But sevens make an art-form out of avoiding painful feelings like sadness. Most of us sevens are obnoxiously optimistic and carry around a “pocket full of silver-linings.” The glass is always “half-full” for a seven.

I wish I could sit down with you and go on and on. I would probably annoy you as much as I’m annoying all of those who come within 10 feet of me.

What I want to share today is that I’m in a season of sorting through these surprising words of Jesus in Matthew.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

What a backwards statement this is in a world full of people doing whatever they can to NOT mourn. On some level, we all want to drown out the brokenness and pain within us and all around us. I know that this isn’t very uplifting, but the truth is that this world is so sad. There are so many sad things going on all around us. Sad things going on in our own homes and in our own hearts. And yet, the human tendency is to drown it out as best we can. To wall out the pain with our houses, our vacations, our trips to the bar, our video games, our social media, our hobbies. Anything that can distance us from the brokenness.

The truth catches up to most people sooner than it does us sevens. Sevens are the worst at mourning…and we really miss out in that way.

Jesus knew that there was this “seven-like” tendency in all of us. Because He intends to bring healing and freedom, His Word to us is often counterintuitive. Blessed means “happy” and so Jesus is literally saying, “happy are those that mourn.” I’m still trying to sort that one out because at first glance it makes zero sense to me. And yet, I want to trust the Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

This is not a blog with answers. It’s simply a chance to share with you where I’m at in my journey. Maybe you too need to learn to stop running away from sad things? Maybe you too need to learn what it is like to mourn? I am wrestling through it with the Lord. I don’t mind dipping my toe into some sadness, but mourning feels a lot like hopelessness to me right now and in my “sevenness” I, for the life of me, cannot figure out why anyone would want to sit in that!

And yet, my Messiah is called “the man of sorrows” (Isaiah 53:11). He intentionally ran towards pain, sadness, and brokenness — not away from it. It’s noted that He was grieved (Luke 19:41), that He wept (John 11:35), and that at times He was angered (Mark 3:5).

Being “like” Jesus isn’t always what I think it is. Being “happy” isn’t always way I think it is. It’s one of the many reasons I’m thankful for the Word’s ability to challenge my presuppositions built on my own brokenness.

If you’re willing to share, I’m curious to know what number YOU are? Any other seven’s out there who can relate? 

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