Section Two: The Personal Characteristics of a Godly Life.
Our current theme: Characteristic Four: Being Christ-Actualized.
Our reading for today: Isaiah 30: 18 (MsgB)
But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for Him are the lucky ones.
In case you’re just joining us, we are spending a good portion of time in this section of our discipleship blog series, examining our unique personalities that God has given us. In truth, God created us just as we are, but through the sinfulness and selfishness of our human nature, that beautiful God-given identity of ours has been drug through the mud of life, leaving us as broken and wounded warriors, alone and believing we will need to fend for ourselves, if we ever hope to make it through this life.
Fortunately, Jesus of Nazareth has come to redeem us from this fleshly curse, but in all honesty, very few of us take the time needed to truly understand all the freedoms Christ has for us, if we’ll only take the time to embrace them. We call this amazing transformation; being Christ-actualized!
Over the next nine blog sessions, we are exploring, one by one, the Enneagram’s nine personality types. Today, we look at The Challenger (Enneagram #8), sometimes also called The Protector. I suggest you read the following information and see if you find yourself in the descriptions found below:
THE CHALLENGER (Enneagram #8)
The Gut Triad: Doing-oriented, knowing-driven, body-centered, decisions from the gut, power-focused. When encountering life, the first reaction is to do something. Tends to act before thinking or feeling. Anger is always waiting beneath the surface.
#8’s see life’s problems as an external one, reducing anger by aggression and bullying, by being in charge and calling the shots.
#8’s are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be ego-centric and domineering. They feel they must control their environment, especially people, sometimes becoming confrontational and intimidating. They typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: self- mastering, they use their strength to improve others’ lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.
Adjectives that describe #8: Justice-seeking, direct, strong, magnanimous, declarative, assertive, self-reliant, confident, intense, protective of others, and take-charge and action-oriented, but also sometimes heavy-handed, intimidating, excessive, demanding, dominating, and impulsive.
Key Motivations: Want to be self-reliant, to prove their strength and resist weakness, to be important in their world, to dominate the environment, and to stay in control of their situation.
Basic Fear: of being harmed or controlled by others.
Basic Desire: to protect themselves (to be in control of their own life and destiny).
#8 struggles with: lust/vengeance/justice.
#8’s motto: I am strong, just, & dominant.
#8’s response to life: Anger is just energy!
#8 strives: to be powerful.
#8 avoids: weakness.
#8 unconscious childhood message: It’s not okay to be vulnerable or to trust anyone.
#8 lost childhood message: I will not be betrayed.
#8 true essence: A reflection of power and protection.
What will it mean for a #8 The Challenger to be Christ-actualized? A mature #8 engages the life-giving heart of a #2: empathy, compassion, and warmth; allowing your gut to include softer emotions. A mature #8 also engages the life-giving intellect of a #5: holding all things loosely, observing, detaching, and learning more about an issue before reacting.
What does God’s Word have to say to a #8?
So, are you an Enneagram #8? Does this personality type sound a lot like the way you feel and act in life? If so, take heart. A Christ-actualized #8 can become, by the direction of the Holy Spirit, a man or woman of God who leads well, using their talents for the glory of God. A godly #8 no longer pushes or demands that everyone and everything get out of the way, but leads as Jesus did; One who accomplished much in life, yet One who did so by using the soft-compassionate heart of a servant-leader.
My prayer: Watch my back as I wade into the waters of waiting, for I do not trust easily. Empty me of my need to assert my-self, empty me of my need to blame others when things don’t go my way. Soften the walls surrounding my heart, the rigid boundaries, my strong opinions. Embrace me as I wait, so that I may know the richness in stillness and open my heart to the affection of others. May I be present in my waiting without judgment and without fear, knowing that You abide with me always. Ground me in Your gentle and loving presence that I may be gentle and loving with myself and others. Remind me each day that we are all one and that in our unity we find hope. For Your name’s sake. Amen. (thanks to Sandra Smith/AlchemyWorksEvents.com)
My questions to ponder: If I see #8 qualities in my life, which are the most obvious? Where am I subject to the weaknesses found in a #8 and how might I allow the Holy Spirit to work deep within me, transforming these #8 wounds into glorious opportunities of hope?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
For more info on #8 The Challenger: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-8/
Over a thirty-six week period, you and I will take a deeper look into twelve key characteristics of a godly life. In other words, we’ll take A Journey into Christian Discipleship. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Journey home page for ease of use. ENJOY!
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