The Enneagram, according to the Enneagram Institute, is a tool that “helps us to see ourselves at a deeper, more objective level and can be of invaluable assistance on our path to self-knowledge.” This series reflects an opinion that connects faith with each of the nine personality profiles of the Enneagram.
Fruit of the Spirit for Sixes to focus on: Peace
To understand a Six is to understand their intertwined web of contradictory characteristics that they often don’t even understand themselves — they can be both bold and timid; a leader and a loyal supporter; fiercely trusting and cautiously distrusting; harsh and caring. All of these complexities create a mind within a Six that, like the ocean, is constantly flowing, ever changing and can’t easily be stilled. When in discourse, their mind can cause them panic and fear, but in times of strength, it can also lead to a state of serenity.
Their haste of thoughts seeks to understand and foresee the world’s dangers and the unknown as a mechanism of protecting themselves and those they love. Therefore, their venture to bring peace into other’s lives often leaves them struggling to locate peace within themselves. While sometimes their concerns and worries are justified, other times the security-driven thoughts of a Six cause defensiveness, evasion and anxieties within them. The important thing to remember is that when they lean into God and his peace, those waters can be calmed.
For a Six to attempt to find peace, they protect and defend as society’s watchmen. It is often their motto to say, “You can’t be disappointed if you have no expectations,” but the truth is that just because you don’t expect anything doesn’t mean to not prepare for everything — that includes God’s blessings.
So much of the identity of a Six is wrapped up in their relationships with others and deep-rooted values, whatever they may be. They underestimate it, but they have a gift for making connections, understanding others and seeking opportunities for cooperation. Once those devotions are made, there is little that can be done in a Sixes’ eyes to end that. They’re powerfully loyal and committed; however, their refusal to unmeld bonds and be slow to make those bonds are also sometimes faults. They ignore the strains that destructive relationships cause and will even sacrifice parts of themselves to maintain them. While they will stretch the rope that ties them to others to test its strength, they truly crave the reassurance, certainty and trust that comes from having a comforting, reliable belief system and network.
The estrangement a Six has with their inner guidance and abilities is what can give them the most trouble. They can be their own worst enemies. They are on a never-ending search for support and guidance and they fear making important decisions because they also struggle to trust themselves. They are looking to find firm ground without realizing that they themselves are the firm ground for others, so they can also be for themselves. When Christian Sixes realize they are God’s natural-born tools of sanctuary, they can appreciate their abilities to reach stability within themselves. While their quick, forecasting minds and empathetic hearts easily reach out to provide for others, they can’t truly be luminaries in the world until they explore vulnerability, tune into themselves and release themselves from the expectations they hold over them but apply to no one else. Often, they feel deep empathy and understanding in relation to others, but they struggle to concur that empathy for themselves. The key to creating a better world for those in the world of a Six is for them to first learn trust and compassion for themselves.
For those who know a Six:
To enter the inner circle of a Six is no simple feat, and trust is the most pivotal characteristic. They don’t freely give away their trust, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a great deal. Having a Six as an ally means having a truly loyal friend. The most important thing for those who know a Six to recognize is that to break that trust means to threaten the relationship entirely. Secrets, lies, deception and a lack of fidelity and sincerity have no respect among Sixes even more so than most.
Another important thing to know is that they will have worries and uncertainties. Don’t dismiss those, hear them with compassion. They desire stability for those they love and for themselves, so be an outstretched arm that can pull them away from their overactive minds and provide them a partner with whom they truly feel connected.
Verses for Sixes:
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
2 Samuel 22:3
My God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior – from violent people you save me.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.