Benner says, "The core sins identified by the Enneagram are each associated with a core need. The needs are basic human needs, such as a need for love, for security or for perfection. The sin consists in making these something of ultimate value - that is, making them into God.
- Ones need to be perfect and, discovering that neither they nor anything else in their world is perfect, are tempted by self-righteous anger A good biblical example of this type is Paul.
- Twos need to be loved and needed, and their competence in making this happen sets them up for pride. Martha is a good biblical example of a Two.
- Threes need to be successful and are tempted to deceit, as they do whatever they have to do to avoid failure and appear in the best possible light. Jacob illustrates this type.
- Fours need to be special and are tempted toward envy, escapist fantasy and a compromise of authenticity. Joseph, the Old Testament patriarch, illustrates this type.
- Fives need knowledge, long for fulfillment, and are tempted by greed, stinginess and critical detachment. Thomas, the so-called doubting disciple, fits this pattern.
- Sixes need security and are tempted by fear, self-doubt and cowardice. Timothy is a good example of a Six.
- Sevens need to avoid pain and are tempted by gluttony and intemperance. Solomon is a biblical example of this type.
- Eights need power, self-reliance and opportunities to be against something and are tempted by lust, arrogance and the desire to possess and control others. King Saul is a good illustration of an Eight.
- Nines need to maintain emotional peace and avoid initiative and are tempted by laziness, comfortable illusions and being overly accommodating. Jonah illustrates this type."
Looking at my burnout through this lense, I can see how trying to keep appearances up and wanting to avoid failure often leads me to say or do things that are not true to what I'm really thinking or feeling. For example, even when I was overworked and tired, I told myself that I was fine and wouldn't admit to needing rest. I would essentially lie to myself - and consequently, to others. I wasn't as well as I would admit to myself.
The point of knowing our core sin is not to try to correct ourselves though. The idea is that as we discover what our true problem is, we can bring it to Jesus and find acceptance there. It may sound wrong to say that Jesus accepts our sin, but it is actually in His acceptance of it that we have freedom from it. Only when believe that we are completely accepted can we begin to experience His redeeming power and have Him change us from the inside out. Because when we can accept His acceptance of us inclusive of our sin, we are released from covering up our "bad parts" or striving to be anything other than who we are. And when we stop striving, He can start working.