Inside Out: Knowing Ourselves – Type 4 The Individualist

“Inside Out: Knowing Ourselves -Type 4 The Individualist

2 Samuel 12:1-14

Enneagram Type 4:

Brief overview of Type 4 from


Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative, they are able to renew themselves and transform their experiences.

Basic Fear: That they have no identity or personal significance

Basic Desire: To find themselves and their significance (to create an identity)

Enneagram Four with a Three-Wing: “The Aristocrat”

Enneagram Four with a Five-Wing: “The Bohemian”

Key Motivations: Want to express themselves and their individuality, to create and surround themselves with beauty, to maintain certain moods and feelings, to withdraw to protect their self-image, to take care of emotional needs before attending to anything else, to attract a “rescuer.”


Scripture for Sunday: 2 Samuel 12:1-14

and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11 Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. 12 For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house.


Notes on the Text:

This story highlights the role of the prophet in helping the kings in ancient Israel stay true to their mission. David was the second king of ancient Israel. He seemed to be very promising because of his faith in God. On the Enneagram, David was most likely a Type Four. He was a man after God’s heart who expressed his feelings beautifully and creatively. David is often credited with the writing of the Psalms. When he was able to bring the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, David danced on the streets.


As a result of his passion for God, he was Israel’s greatest king who envisioned the city of Jerusalem as a prominent place of worship and rule. He was original and true to himself in all that he did. But trouble came when he could not keep his feelings and passions in balance with his mind, morals, and faith. In the scripture for today, we hear about King David wanting something he didn’t have. Envy is a big issue for Fours.

Driven by his passions, King David neglected his day job as the king and went for an afternoon stroll on his roof. When he saw Bathsheba, who was married to Uriah the Hittite, taking a bath, he sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. When Bathsheba got pregnant, he tried to cover it up by asking her husband to go home from his army duty. But when her husband refused, David commanded that Uriah be put on the front lines so that he would be killed for sure. When Uriah was killed as David had planned, David took Bathsheba as his wife. David’s feelings for Bathsheba clouded his judgment as a king and a man of faith. Of all the women in his kingdom, he wanted the one he could not have. Yet, his redemption and healing were not too far away. David had a spiritual guide by the name of Nathan. He was the prophet who guided the king spiritually. No one in the king’s close circle wanted to go up against and challenge his immorality and abuse of power. But Nathan who was the spokesperson for God confronted David about his unethical and violent behavior. I love the way he did it because it appealed to the Romantic/Individualist Type 4. If this was to be a confrontation with a Type 1, all Nathan would have had to do was to remind David of the Ten Commandments which he broke by killing, lying, committing adultery, and coveting. If this was a confrontation with a Type 3, Nathan would have had to appeal to David’s focus on his success as a king and how the affair would have derailed that. But since Nathan was dealing with Type 4, the artist, he told him a story instead. Symbols, dreams, metaphors, poems, and stories are the preferred language of Type 4. Nathan brilliantly decided to speak through a parable. The story did not turn the issue at hand into a moral discussion about adultery or deception. It did not approach David as an object to some outside objective truth. Nathan brought the struggle home for David in order to help him discover the truth for himself through his feelings. David felt deep anger as he heard this story of injustice about the lamb and that is exactly how the prophet was able to get through to him. David already knew the laws and the teachings of his faith. What he needed was someone who could guide him to see the truth through his feelings.

For Reflection:

Here are a few of lessons from David’s story which could help all of us when we struggle with or get overwhelmed by our feelings:

  1. We Are Enough: The Type 4’s envy and search for that missing piece is an illusion. Trying to get what we don’t have as the way to happiness often ends us causing us more disillusionment. The invitation is to live and accept that all we need is already within us. King David’s lust for the woman he could not have was about his search for fulfillment as a person. He didn’t need to envy Uriah. Richard Rohr talks about Four’s feelings of envy as a life program of an eternal quest for the Holy Grail which can never be found. It is important to remember that what we have and who we are, are enough for God to use for good in the world.
  2. We Need Balance: Feelings can be powerful and thus sometimes could cloud our ability to act out of our heart and soul place. Anger, envy, and fear can become overwhelming. It is important to honor our feelings while knowing that we are not our feelings and that no emotion is final. There is a larger capacity in us at work. Finding balance is key to transformation. Having a spiritual guide could help us get a perspective on our lives and feelings is essential.
  3. We Need Discipline: Sometimes the thrill of doing and feeling something extraordinary could lead us into believing that only amazing experiences are worth the effort, especially spiritually. In reality, all artists know that discipline even when you don’t feel like it is just as essential as being creative. Prayer, community life, worship, and service are not always amazing or spectacular. What is transformative about them is what they do for us over a long period of time. They open us up to God a lot more than the mountain top experiences of a retreat, a trip, or special events.
  4. We Need Creativity: Part of the gift of Fours to the world is the ability to join God the Creator in the shaping of the world. God’s creative energies are at work in our universe each day and the challenge for us is to align our lives with those energies so that we may flow with life and love. Fours are naturally gifted in going deeper into the flow of life.


Here is a prayer/song that is appropriate for Fours:



Prayer based on Psalm 23 by Nan Merrill:

O my Beloved, you are my shepherd,
I shall not want;
You bring me to green pastures for rest
and lead me beside still waters
renewing my spirit,
You restore my soul.
You lead me in the path of goodness
to follow Love’s way.

Even though I walk through the valley
of the shadow and of death,
I am not afraid;
for you are with me forever;
your rod and your staff they guide me,
they give me strength and comfort.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of all my fears;
you bless me with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the heart of the Beloved
forever. Amen.


Weekly Bible Devotionals

Written by Pastor Roula Alkhouri


Close to Home: Seeking Sanctuary


Close to Home: A Home for All


Close to Home: Laying the Foundation