Lord…fear will never conquer me, for You already have! [Psalm 23:4]
I’m an Enneagram Type Six, which means I’m trustworthy, hard working, and resilient.
But the only trait that seems to stick in anyone’s mind about us Sixes is our tendency to fear and be anxious.
I love being a Six. I didn’t always love it. But then I had a revelation regarding fear that unearthed the gold of who I really am.
If you’re a Six…or, if the Enneagram means absolutely nothing to you, but you’ve struggled with crippling fear (anxiety, panic, worry), the letter below is for you.
You and I are people of great faith.
Are you surprised by what I just wrote?
Maybe it’s because you’re so used to every Enneagram conversation and meme only pointing out your inclination to fear. Well, fear is faith. It is faith that bad things will happen.
You are a person of great faith. But satan has tried to pervert the gift of great faith God has given you.
If you’re wrestling with fear, it’s time to point your faith in a different direction.
I’m sure you’ve come across a lot of tactics for coping with fear, or maybe you’ve stopped searching for help altogether because it only triggers even more fear.
You can relax.
I’m not offering you another coping mechanism. I’m sharing a way to total freedom.
I have discovered real freedom from fear doesn’t come from ignoring it nor embracing it. It’s the truth that sets you free.
When I am feeling afraid, if I were to say, “I’m not afraid,” I’d be a lying. Because the fact is I am feeling afraid. There is no need to deny it.
However, when I am feeling afraid, it is also a lie for me to say, “I am afraid.” Because the truth is that “Afraid” is not who I am.
When I’m feeling afraid, I point the fear I’m experiencing towards the truth.
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. [Psalm 56:3]
For Sixes, fear can sometimes become so integrated in our thought life that it’s no longer obvious.
For example, I ran on a treadmill yesterday morning, and as soon as I started my run all I could picture was me tripping and busting my face on the edge of the treadmill. It took me a half a mile to realize that was actually fear talking. So subtle, but still very real. It was so real that it almost convinced me to cut my run short. Instead, I pointed my faith in another direction by picturing myself running a half mile past my original goal. Do you know what happened? I ran past my original goal and I didn’t bust my face open. Do you know why? Because I’m a person of great faith and faith is an active substance. It changes things. Faith is so powerful it can move mountains.
Maybe that sounds like a silly example, but the point is fear can become a habit if we let it. Sometimes it disguises itself as wisdom and persuades us out of living. But wisdom, a gift from God, is always filled with peace not terror.
Other times, fear is not-so-subtle and very demanding.
Like, one night not too long ago, when all the worries of my day had piled on top of all the worries of my tomorrow, and I couldn’t seem to climb over the mountain of anxiety to reach any summit of clarity. I finally came to God for help through a half-hearted prayer (you know, only after the emotional breakdown) that went something like this…
Me: God, I don’t know how to overcome these fears.
God: Linds, stop fixating on what you don’t know. Start focusing on what you do know.
I realized that when I’m facing darkness I’m tempted to believe God has forgotten me. But, actually, it’s me who has forgotten God.
I have forgotten who He is and, as a result, I have also forgotten who I am.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. [2 Timothy 1:7]
Whether you’re a 6 or a 37 (not a real Enneagram type), fear is not your identity and it’s not your destiny.
Often the area in which we feel our biggest defeat is actually the territory in which God intends for us to experience our greatest victory.
Sixes can often see what others do not. If we’re not aware, it’s easy to use this gift of foresight to prophesy worst case scenarios and breed fear.
But, dear Six, if you follow Jesus, you can overcome fear.
Read that again, please.
You’re not destined to cope with fear for the rest of your life, nor spread it. You’ve been empowered to overcome it once and for all, and to also eliminate it in the lives of those around you.
Every Christian carries a divine assignment to bring heaven to earth. This requires seeing through what is in order to bring forth what should be.
Here’s what I believe: this divine ability to see the unseen comes much easier to Sixes than most. With this privilege comes a glorious responsibility — we must point our massive faith in the right direction.
Some of you reading this might be thinking that I’m advocating for “spiritual bypassing” of pain and hard things.
Let me be clear, I don’t bypass any dark thing. I take every dark thing I encounter and pass it through the door of Jesus.
Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. [John 14:6]
If you’re facing fear, you need a way out and a way forward. Jesus is the way.
Dear Six, they call us “loyalists,” and it’s not untrue. You are faithful — faith-filled.
Let’s go move some mountains today. Let’s release courage into the lives of people around us. Let’s call what is currently unseen into reality. Let’s be sure to remember who our God is and who we are.
We are people of great faith.
P.S. I shared some practical action steps for dealing with dark things like fear in a previous blog, called “The New Dark.” Click here to read.