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Self to Lose - Self to Find: A Biblical Approach to the 9 Enneagram Types

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Self to Lose-Self to Find examines the invitation of Jesus to lose yourself in order to find your true self, and presents the personality system known as the Enneagram within this biblical framework. It will guide you toward liberating self-awareness by detailing nine distinct personality patterns, each with particular gifts and challenges. By learning about your type, you ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published June 3rd 2016 by Redemption Press
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Aimee Smith
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was eye-opening and life changing for me.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well done, Marilyn Vancil. She’s approached the Enneagram with a fresh viewpoint within the framework of solid Christian discipleship, while also unpacking the beautiful contemplative potential to be found there.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've noticed that books that end strong are remembered as good by most readers. Such is "Self to Lose." I thought the beginning dragged and was slightly annoying -- lots of musings and quotes and scripture. I love musings and quotes and scripture, it just seemed like an awful lot and not very tight. But then Vancil transitions into talking about the Enneagram and the book just soars. It's inspiring and enlightening as well as practical. Definitely worth the read.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I personally find the Enneagram types to be one of the most useful personality descriptions I’ve used, and this is a quite interesting integration of Enneagram types with biblical concepts. I personally found a few of their type descriptions not quite as clear to me as ones I’ve read elsewhere, though, so I feel like this book shouldn’t really be a stand-alone but would be best along with other resources.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you want to learn about the Enneagram from a solid biblical foundation this is definitely a book to get. I really enjoyed how she brought out the good and the bad of each type with a heavy emphasis on God's ability to redeem the "eeewww" aspects of each type.

As the first book I've read on the Enneagram, I expect this is a helpful addition to the collection, approaching the types from a Christian framework. Some components of the framework presented may not fit perfectly in all Christian worldviews, but the ideas are worth at least consider and wrestling with.

I don't think this can be the only book you read on the Enneagram (is there any such book? It seems a system that lends itself to never-ending contemplation and research.), but it worked as an i
Terry Watson
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The best book yet on how to integrate the Enneagram and becoming more authentic with the teachings of the Bible
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
I suppose at some point I should wonder how many books on personality a person can (should?) read. But each one has different insights, and this book had some good ones about tying personality to spiritual growth. The author has a writing style that exudes wisdom, and some of the points she made I'm still pondering. She bases the book around the idea of having an adapted self vs. authentic self and unpacks some common misunderstandings around denying ourselves (disowning the old self instead of ...more
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have done a lot of inner work the last year and a half with the Enneagram. I had to step away for a while, because it all got to be too much and felt really overwhelming. But I was feeling a tugging to look deeper again and this book did not disappoint. I have found it to explain and give language for all the things I couldn't quite put my finger on and articulate. It also just has such a beautiful perspective on a handful of scriptures that I feel my religion growing up continually missed. Th ...more
Casey | Essentially Novel
“𝘐’𝘮 𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘢 𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘢 𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘫𝘶𝘥𝘨𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘵.”

I liked the approach to this one. Marilyn comes at the Enneagram from the perspective that it can help us identify our true self and as believers, this helps us better understand not only who God made us but Who He is; how we reflect His image. She starts off addressing how we initially put on our man-made self, a persona, but through salvation, we come to discover our true self, one that is
If you are a Christ follower and at all interested in the Enneagram, start (or continue) here. More than simply a Christian perspective on the Enneagram, this is an exhortation to follow Christ and the explanation of a tool to help you on the way. Although the actual chapters on the framework are short, they are full of information and surrounded by incredible application steps.

I have been reading and learning about the Enneagram for about two years, and God has shown me some deep truths about
Suzanne Dion
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The writing style of this book is so inviting, so captivating, so rhythmic and so flowing! I had literally devoured this book in a matter of days once receiving it. The concepts and ideas shared are so clarifying, illuminating, and the practices shared are directly applicable. The author uses her own personal growth struggles and coming-forth awarenesses as examples of how to apply the self-development steps included. This I found incredibly helpful — what a great way to show us how to apply the ...more
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very informative!
The first 4 chapters are bogged down with information on why she wrote the book and the labels she uses as adapted self and authentic self. It also has a very overly religious tone. Once you get past the lengthy emotional explanation it finally gets into the nuts and bolts of the topic.

It is well written and easy to follow along.

I enjoyed not only learning about my type but also viewing it through the lenses of how God created me to be within my personality type. She closes o
Aaron Ventura
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Some helpful wisdom here and there, but Vancil omits some of the most crucial doctrinal points of Christian sanctification and growth in holiness, namely seeing sin and defining it in light of God's glory, and the need to mortify remaining sin. There is some theological redefinition and slight of hand that feel very eisegetical as opposed to bringing the full weight of Scripture to bear on the Enneagram typology. I expected more from a Christian author and was disappointed. Some turns-of-phrase ...more
Sarah McGinnis
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: enneagram
This is a great "next steps" book for people who have discovered their dominant type and want to actually start doing their "work". This book works from a Christian perspective and helps you view your Enneagram work through a lens of "dying to self" and "rising with Christ". Some Biblical approaches to the Enneagram end up cheesy and a little off the mark, kind of like the author was trying too hard to fit the Enneagram into a Christian worldview. Vancil does an amazing job of showing how the En ...more
JJ Vancil
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure: the author is my mom, so any review I give should be understood through that filter. However, when it comes to the Enneagram, this book packs a punch. It is about the Enneagram, but goes way beyond the personality test approach. It digs deep to the heart of who we are and invites us to discover our Authentic Self. The theology of this book resonates deeply with my soul and challenged me to “deny myself, take up my cross, and follow” Jesus. I recommend this book to anyone wanting ...more
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A helpful and fresh take on the Enneagram. She has a beautiful way of distinguishing between the False and True Selves. A practical exercise for mindful navigation of the trouble spots in your personality at the end.

She encourages the reader to get in touch at the close of the book. She promptly responded to one of my questions regarding my type and offered to set up a phone call. I am excited to talk with her next week. Such a genuinely kind and wise lady!
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book really helped me understand the overall theory of the Enneagram and the true self-false self notion. I also appreciated the detailed step-by-step OWN-UP process to diagnose behavior. I didn’t love the individual type descriptions or essential type test in the appendix. I actually was more confused about my type after reading this book. Overall, recommend, but suggest using with additional tools.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastoral
This is a good introduction to the enneagram with an explicit attempt to connect it to the Christian faith. She uses the framework of “adapted self” (who we are in the flesh) vs. authentic self (who we are in the spirit). It gave a little bit more information on how arrows, wings, and subtypes work than say “Road Back to You.” I found it helpful despite the fact I have a nagging suspicion this whole personality typing thing is odd.
Joseph Dalton
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solid Start to Understanding People (and myself)

Marilyn does an excellent job in her descriptions and summaries within the system she lays out. There seemed to be more words devoted to the adapted self in each type and not as much to aspire to. I’m glad she also shares the “OWN UP” model of processing emotions and understanding of self. Very practical and helpful, and I look forward to using it!
Gina Brenna
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've probably read at least a dozen Enneagram books but this might be my favorite. It's a great introduction (although not as comprehensive as others) but the best part about it is the biblical context she gives, as well and the section on how to practice awareness. This just affirmed so much of what I have understood myself about how the Enneagram fits into spiritual growth.
Vanessa Siemens
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Out of all the enneagram books I’ve read, this one is one of my favourites. I love the author’s perspective and the OWN-UP application at the end- I find she speaks to the heart of how the enneagram can be used as a tool to fully live as our true selves as God creates is. I especially loved the ‘God’s personal invitation of love’ chapter. I will definitely be revisiting this book!
Lisa Pauls
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Enneagram types

This book was a great resource for someone new to Enneagram Types. Certainly this is an area that will take lots of reflection to fully understand.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my two favorite enneagram books (the other one is The Sacred Enneagram). This book has the best description a Six that I’ve found. Plus I love the OWN-UP process that she lays out. She teaches us how to lay down the old self and put on the new self. It’s a fabulous book!
I liked the author’s view of the “ adapted self” and how that is what we should be denying in order to step into the fullness of our true selves.

I did wish the book would go a little deeper into each type and how to move away from the adapted self.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
4.5 stars. Continuing on this enneagram journey (obsession), this book was the perfect way to connect the spirituality aspect with the numbers. I loved her prayers and real-life details throughout. This audiobook was fantastic.
Robert Thibodeau
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book. At first I was not sure what Enneagram's were about.

Although I'm no expert, at least now I have an understanding of how it limks your personality traits together.

Marilyn Vancil did a great job of relating it to Christian beliefs (so it is not so "spooky" in Christian circles).
Daunavan Buyer
Great book on how the enneagram can be Biblically linked to spiritual formation. It’s both practical and theological! If you’re a fan of the enneagram and want some ideas about how this tool can be utilized to grow in your walk with God this is a must read!
Some interesting thoughts here but I don’t agree with them all. This book may have been more useful to me if I could feel certain of my number. This is the second book I’ve read on the Enneagram and I am still not entirely sure.
Amanda Samuel
3.5 stars. I really enjoyed the first half of this book and found the paradigm of the Adapted vs Authentic self particularly helpful. Good overview of the nine types, useful charts, and liked learning about the OWN-UP process.
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The Grounds' Book...: "Self to Lose, Self to Find" 1 2 Jul 17, 2018 07:05AM  

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“This invitation [to deny oneself] is less about depriving the self, and more about disowning, or renouncing a relationship with the part of ourself that is not what God created us to be.” 1 likes
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