otes | Observations | Takeaways | & Encouragement

Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2020

The QUOTE is a brief synopsis of books I’ve read.
Read this. Then read the book. ~ Daniel Mallipudi

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
By Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile
InterVarsity Press | 2016 | 238 pages

QUOTES (quotes I loved when reading this book):

“The Enneagram should only be used to build others up and help them advance on their journey toward wholeness and God. Period.”

“Vulnerability is the base metal of love and relationships…It’s the price of admission.”

“Try to remember that you don’t have to have the answers for everything. You won’t look foolish, just human.”

“If we all could have nine pairs of Enneagram glasses and swap them, we could be moved to extend infinitely more grace and understanding to one another. Such compassion is the foundation of relationships. It changes everything.”

“The Enneagram is a tool that awakens our compassion for people just as they are, not the people we wish they would become so our lives would become easier. After reading this book, we hope you feels stirred to widen the circle of compassion to include more and more people around you – even yourself.”

OBSERVATIONS (personal observations):

I’m a man of unreasonable hope. As such, this book, increases my desire to believe the best about people. Believing the best about someone can be the greatest gift that person receives in their lifetime. It can be the soil for renewed purposed and invigorated hope. This book offers, in detail, descriptions that provide a greater framework for this hope.

I want believe my life’s purpose is to point people to healthy relationships. This book places a value on vulnerability that I’ve always appreciated. Yet this book goes to another level and encourages me to not only seek vulnerability with relationships but to shower that vulnerability with compassion.

All of us are lacking. We are born with a void shaped in such a way that only God can fill it. What God provides for us – through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection – brings wholeness. This book asserts that the Enneagram should help people advance to their journey to wholeness and to God. While that can be true in part, I would further insist that Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone, provides wholeness. As Flannery O’Connor noted (and as quoted by the book). “To know oneself is, above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility.”

 TAKEAWAYS (things I’ll take away and implement in my life going forward):

Going forward, I will try to display more grace in my relationships, making room for patience and compassion. I will pray for more measured responses and reactions in my conversations and decision-making to take in account other’s perspectives.

Going forward, I will not excuse my poor behavior and tendencies by claiming ‘it’s just part of who I am.’ Rather, as my own deficiencies come to the surface, I will seek to become more aware of my need for God’s grace in my own life.

Going forward, I will make room for more people in my life that I have previously guarded against, because I didn’t know them or because I didn’t understand them. I long for increased vulnerability coupled with moving compassion for others in my life.

ENCOURAGEMENT (why I would encourage you to read this book):

I’d encourage you to read this book if you are a leader in any capacity – a teacher, a manager, a CEO, an executive, a pastor, a non-profit director. This book will give you the push and nudge you need to recognize your need for God’s grace in your life. That grace will make room for our leadership effectiveness in others, I believe.

I’d encourage you to read this book if you are curious about what the Enneagram is, from a faith perspective. Having read many types of personality studies in the past, I had been skeptical – to say the least – about how different this approach would be. As I read the different chapters offering their insight on each of the nine types, I found myself ‘recognize’ myself or others I know. The gift of this book is that it takes the Enneagram, first developed in 1915, and gives it a faith perspective that allows us to love others well.

I’d encourage you to read this book if you know anyone. That’s right. If you know anyone. The fact that you know someone is a good reason for you to read this book and further embrace what it means to have more grace and compassion for yourself and for the others in your life. According to the authors, “every number on the Enneagram teaches us something about the nature and character of the God who made us. Inside each number is a hidden gift that reveals something about God’s heart. So, when you are tempted to prosecute yourself for the flaws in your own character, remember that each type is at its core a signpost pointing us to travel toward and embrace an aspect of God’s character that we need.”

Get the book here.

© 2016 First Christian Church

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