We live in a fallen world, and we’re constantly bombarded and worn down by the sins and troubles that come this side of Heaven. If we’re honest, we all have times when we feel spiritually depleted.
But before we look to anything or anyone other than Christ to satisfy us, we have to remember what it says in John 4:14: “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Our True Identity and Hope
Have you ever read the children’s book, You Are Special, by Max Lucado? I totally recommend it for the special kiddos in your life, to help them grasp the immeasurable love of our Creator. But even though the book was written for children, it’s had a major impact on my own adult view and walk with the Lord.
The book is about wooden people called Wemmicks, who put stickers on one another based on their appearance, accomplishments and talents. Though they all live in the same village and were made by the same woodcarver, Eli, gold stars are stuck on those who are attractive and successful, while gray dots are stuck on the Wemmicks deemed ugly, silly and without special abilities.
The main character, Punchinello, feels discouraged and rejected when the other wooden people cover him with only gray dots. He starts to believe that he’s not a good wooden person and deserves all his dots, until one day when he meets Lucia, another Wemmick without any stickers at all. When others try to put stars or dots on Lucia, they just won’t stick to her.
Punchinello asks Lucia how she manages to be sticker-less, and she tells him that every day she goes to see their creator, Eli. Punchinello decides to go visit the woodcarver himself, and he learns that only what Eli thinks of him really matters. Eli tells Punchinello that he matters to him and that he’s pretty special, and that the stickers only stick if you let them. At the end of the book, as Punchinello begins to believe and trust in his maker’s love, one of his gray dots falls to the ground.
I just love this story, because it’s my story, and it’s yours too! Ephesians 2:10 says: “You are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” When we put our trust in the Lord and truly believe that Christ’s life, death and resurrection righted everything that is wrong in us, we realize how loved and special we really are. We stop caring so much about what the world thinks of us, knowing we are seen and valued by our Creator, and only His opinion of us matters.
This is the gift of the Gospel and it’s also where spiritual renewal happens. We can use the Enneagram to gain self-awareness, but at the end of the day, we have to know not only who we are, but Whose we are, to find real restoration and freedom.
Radical Spiritual Transformation
When I talk about this Gospel transformation, I speak from experience. Back in 2000, I stumbled upon the Enneagram. (At that time, if you had told me that one day I would be a full-time Enneagram Coach leading others around the globe in personal and spiritual growth, I wouldn’t have even been able to fathom it!) I was a young wife and mother, drowning in the daily demands of living on a seminary campus with two small children. As a long-time believer, I knew the Gospel story well, and my years of Sunday school taught me that Jesus loves me and died for me, bringing me freedom in Him.
But I wasn’t living life a free person. In fact, I was completely stuck. I kept falling into the same ruts, causing me to experience great guilt, shame, and fear. I just couldn’t seem to grasp the abundant life I knew I had in Jesus. I was scared, frustrated, lonely, and very sensitive to the words and actions of the people around me. I was constantly comparing myself to others, and I always found myself coming up short.
For me the Enneagram was more than just a handy tool for self-awareness, it was a soul-restoring, life-transforming gift. I was finally able to gain an understanding of what was going on inside me, and a clear path to lasting growth. This shift in my heart allowed me to finally find rest, and my spiritual life and walk with the Lord was renewed. That’s when I really saw change in my daily life, marriage and relationships with others around me.
Are YOU ready to dig deeper into the Enneagram for lasting spiritual growth and renewal?