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Word for Today / Your pattern sins (2)

Staff Member
Your pattern sins (2)

‘Be kind…tenderhearted, forgiving one another.’
Ephesians 4:32 NLT

Because of how we’re wired we often find ourselves drawn to certain sins. Consequently our areas of weakness are usually consistent and predictable. It’s like having a ‘sin profile’. In his book Signature Sins: Taming Our Wayward Hearts, Dr Michael W. Mangis identifies nine of these patterns using an ancient system called the Enneagram. It’s somewhat controversial because it’s been used by many spiritual traditions.

However, it’s thought to have originated out of consideration of the seven deadly sins and the fruit of the Spirit, therefore it can be applied within a Christian framework. To help you become more self-aware and build a defence against your particular area of vulnerability, let’s spend the next few days looking at these nine pattern sins, and the people most likely to wrestle with them.

Reformers: Reformers are drawn to perfection. They have a high standard of excellence and their greatest fear is being flawed. (They make good surgeons – and excellent golfers.) At their best they’re crusaders, watchdogs, and prophets. But because they wrestle with perfectionism and self-righteousness, they tend to judge others whose standards aren’t quite so high.

The prophet Amos is a good example. He writes about ‘a plumb line’ that shows how far short people fall of God’s standards (see Amos 7:7-8). Writing to the reformers, Paul said, ‘Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.’ As a reformer your greatest challenge will be to demonstrate love, patience, and grace in your dealings with others. And with God’s help you can do it.

written by Bob Gass

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