As I was thinking about this post, a thought kept crossing my mind…. that there might be a reader or two who might be inclined to give me a label…. not as a “9”, but as a curmudgeon. My response to that would be that it was fine…just put the word “old” in front of it to make it valid. What I just shared is just my way of saying that there could be some folks who get miffed by what I want to share here. That’s perfectly okay, and it is in keeping with the message itself.
I have really dear friends who are deeply into the enneagram stuff. No offense meant please, I call it stuff because, to me, that’s what it is–stuff. I got into a conversation with one of these friends a while back, and it was interesting. He happened to mention that I was a “9”. Not really understanding what he was talking about, I said that I rather consider myself a “10” because I’ve always reasoned that whatever God made, He made perfectly, and that my assumption is that He made me and thus He created me perfectly according to His will. (Please don’t read into that that I consider myself a perfect person, because rest assured, I know I have flaws.) Thus, a discussion ensued.
My buddy went on to share that I was a “9” because I was this or that, that I showed this trait or that, and that I responded to things this way or that. It was all over my head, and it brought questions to my mind, which I asked; why should I be labeled by a number? Did God make up the criteria for the different numbers, or did man make them up? If someone is thinking that I’m a certain number, isn’t that simply an opinion of theirs based on something that they read that they are interpreting? Isn’t that really just a form of labeling–“you’re a 9″…is that good or bad? What godly truth is that based on? Oh, there were more questions for sure!
I asked what I thought was an important question–what was the value, to he or I, in the unsolicited opinion that came out as “you’re a 9”? I capped that question with another–what’s wrong with “you’re Joe”? Now the conversation got interesting. He shared that since he knew I was a “9”, that Joe was a “9”, then he could understand how I would act or react to certain situations, that he would be better able to “read me” and hold meaningful dialogue with me. Oops, he shouldn’t have gone there. I shared what I was feeling. I was feeling reduced to a number somewhere in some book, one accompanied by descriptors coughed up by someone(s) intent on applying labels on people based on someone else’s opinions who had never met nor interacted with the person being numbered.
I’m a simple guy. I like basics…. like God created man in His image, that we are all wondrously made. I’m really, really sure that God doesn’t have a numbering system for the men and women He made and continues to make. I also enjoy the fact that while we are all so different, we are all so similar in many ways–and we are each unique. I rather enjoy the simple basics of loving those I run across with, for, and in spite of their differences–their uniqueness. Teddy can be Teddy because he is Teddy–a child of God. Alice can be Alice because she is Alice–a child of God.
Teddy doesn’t have to be a “3”. Alice doesn’t have to be a “7”. I love them because they are Ted and Alice because they are unique–just like I simply want to be Joe and not a “9”, because I am unique. Let’s not judge. Let’s just take folks as they are and love them through everything. We don’t need to number them. Somehow that just seems so wrong.