The TWO in me…

Exploring the Ennegram at AC3…personally

This should be easy – I’m a type TWO. I’ve been aware of my TWO-ness for nigh-on 10 years. I’ve read books, watched videos, studied and had countless conversations with my counselor/spiritual director about being a TWO – but I still get lost. I still make new discoveries about the TWO, especially the darker side.

“I think that for those living in community obedience is a greater virtue than [pure love], however perfect. [Pure love] carries within it the danger of pride, but obedience has within it the promise of humility.”

Saint Syncletica

Pride. Pride in loving well. That seems crazy – but it’s true. The ONE experiences a kind of “proud anger” when they are confronted with injustice and brokenness. Their close neighbors (TWOS) experience a different quality of pride when they exercise their special brand of loving.

For example, because the TWO has been gifted with extremely sensitive sensory apparatus for emotions, one of our super-powers is to know what others are feeling, sometimes before they do. We can then respond with exactly what’s needed. When we get that whole thing right – it feels awesome. We feel special. We feel powerful, purposeful and effective. Right on the heels of this, we feel proud.

We feel powerful, purposeful and effective. Right on the heels of this, we feel proud.

Moreover, AC3 does a number of things really well. Well enough that we stand out against other churches. For the ONE types, among us we see our effectiveness in terms of the things we do: the arts, creativity and persistence. For the TWOS we see what we are: radically accepting, forgiving and open. For 25 years, we have welcomed the “kind of people” who would not feel welcome in other churches. I consider myself one of those people. That outsider-ideal, radical inclusion vibe has created a TWO-type pride in me.

Here, in the realm of the ONE, TWO (and we will soon discover the THREE) we find a unique set of experiences that define this region of the Ennegram. All three have a certain external focus. They each, in their own unique way, pour themselves outward. Therefore, all three have a unique need for resources to be returned.

We must be refilled by God…

For the TWO is us…in me…this realization means that we (I) must take seriously the portion of the Great Commandment which calls us to love ourselves. The truth for the TWO is, we must turn our legitimate need to have our inward resources refilled toward God, and not toward those around us. As a church, we must turn our hearts and hands upward, seeking God to fill us in all ways, and release the people around us from the burden of filling us back up.

Check out the whole Ennegram sermon series going at AC3 right now…


57 year old husband of 31 years, father of two, drumming Gardner.