The Enneagram—a personality assessment tool—has gotten a lot of press lately. People are interested in it; they’re taking online tests, listening to podcasts and buying books (For example, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery, released at the end of 2016 and sold over 100,000 copies in just a little over a year).
The enneagram is based on a numbering system—one through nine—and your number helps to uncover your unique personality traits. No system is perfect, but here at RELEVANT, we thought it would be fun to comb through the Bible and try to determine where some of our spiritual ancestors might land on the enneagram—and determine our biblical doppelgangers that way.
1: The Reformer
You’re strong-willed and justice-oriented, and you’re willing to make a stand for what you care about.
Your doppelganger is the Apostle Paul, who turned from being a (literal) judgmental Pharisee (judgment is an achilles heel of this personality type) to being a man willing to suffer extremely for the cause of Christ.
2: The Helper
“Service” is your middle name; you love giving to others and, as long as you’re healthy, don’t need attention to do so. (If you’re unhealthy, you’re probably looking for affirmation from others when you serve.)
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is your doppelganger—willing to serve God at a large cost to herself but to the ultimate glory of God. Some think John the Apostle is also a 2.
3: The Achiever
You’re driven and success-oriented, sometimes to the point of caring more about how you appear to others than you should. But you’re faithful and focused—a lot like Moses.
Although he cared too much about how he looked to others (see Numbers 20:8-13), he ultimately obeyed the Lord and led his people well. Jacob may also be a 3.
4: The Individualist
You feel deeply and emotions are central to your experience—as is being unique. King David could be your enneagram doppelganger—a man after God’s heart who expressed his feelings openly and wholeheartedly to God in the book of Psalms. Like him, work to focus your attention back on the Lord when you feel tempted to focus on yourself and your pains above anything else.
5: The Investigator
You’re driven by logic and straight-thinking more than emotions and can tend to be distant and aloof when you’re unhealthy. But when you’re Christ-centered and whole, you bring brilliance and insight to scriptural truths.
Luke, the doctor and writer of the books of Luke and Acts, is your doppelganger—a person of insight, wisdom and intelligence.
Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, is also a good example of a 5—needing to see and understand before believing.
6: The Loyalist
Just like the name, you’re loyal and committed. And like Ruth, you care deeply about the people and places you’re called to. In an unhealthy state, you can let fear dictate your choices, but like Ruth, you can learn to take risks that lead to great joy and God-centered glory.
The Apostle Peter, faithful but sometimes fearful, is also a 6.
7: The Enthusiast
You’re energetic, lively and the life of the party. Like Barnabus, you’re an encourager and you love to bring others into the fold. When you give your heart, you give it completely and are wholeheartedly committed to the affairs of the Lord. Your weakness is that your love of all life has to offer can bend you toward addiction and indulgence.
King Solomon is another example of a 7.
8: The Challenger
You’re a straightforward, even aggressive, leader, and you care intensely about justice.
Like John the Baptist, you are unafraid of standing up to others for the sake of a greater cause. Just be careful to keep your ambition in check and use your strengths—as he did—for the good of others and not solely for yourself.
Miriam, the sister of Moses, is another example of an 8.
9: The Peacemaker
You connect easily with others and make them feel at ease, and—like the Apostle John—you care about helping others reconcile with God and with each other.
While your tenderheartedness might make you avoid arguments or conflict with others, you can trust that God is in the midst of those hard things and can use your gifts to point others to the true peace that Christ offers.
So, what’s your number and who’s your doppelganger?
See Richard Rohr’s book, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, for insights into many of these doppelgangers and where some of these ideas came from.