How Does Spiritual Maturity Impact My SDI 2.0?

How Does Spiritual Maturity Impact My SDI 2.0?

Over the past ten years, Consentia Group has assessed and trained more than 12,000 people with the SDI 2.0. Our work has been primarily with Christian ministries that desire to connect the  SDI experience with their faith in Jesus Christ. As people of the Book, we are drawn to connect what we learn from the SDI instrument to our faith, and how our faith brings about transformation in our lives. Consentia Group is committed to advancing accurate and helpful information to help you do that effectively.

Each time we complete a training, we discover faulty thoughts and conclusions that arise. This blog post will attempt to identify some of the errors we often hear, and share some important truths you may find useful to your spiritual development. This blog is a little longer than usual, but I encourage you to read it to the end. I think you will find it rewarding and challenging.

The SDI 2.0 is an amazingly reliable and valid instrument for understanding yourself and others. It was never intended for spiritual development and is not a Christian tool. It was designed to help people accomplish more in the workplace by helping them work together with less conflict. It is highly successful and used widely to accomplish this. It has helped businesses, non-profits, and even ministries around the world. But there is so much more!

As a theologically trained minister of the gospel, I couldn’t help but research the connections between the three motivations of the SDI 2.0 and what the Scripture teaches about the soul and its needs. Throughout the centuries, teachers in the church have identified soul needs as well as language for discipleship and transformation (sanctification).

I was drawn to the writings of Ignatius of Loyola, who was a priest in Spain at the beginning of the sixteenth century. He identified three “powers of the soul,” which appear to correspond with the three motivations of the SDI 2.0 (acceptance/BLUE, significance/RED, and security/GREEN). He also called these soul needs the “three passions of the soul.” His conviction was that until those needs were fully met in Christ, believers would not live sanctified lives because they were seeking after substitutes that would never satisfy.

This truth resonated with me. I found the same iteration of this truth among others, like Neil Anderson. (I’ve written extensively on the Three Passions of the Soul, for those who want to learn more about how the SDI 2.0 and discipleship intersect.)

These three passions (motivations) shape our personalities. We were created with these needs in the Garden of Eden, and God met our needs fully. But the Fall resulted in mankind looking for substitutes to fill these needs. Scripture often calls these substitutes idols.

Christ came to restore man (salvation) to his garden identity. When we place our faith in Christ, we are adopted as God’s child, with all His promises and benefits. However, we struggle to live out the life that is ours in Christ. By abiding in Christ’s love, we can grow in our sanctification and be changed (John 15:9).

We need to be careful about the assumptions we make about the SDI 2.0 and our faith. Wrong assumptions and beliefs can take us down difficult paths. Here are some wrong beliefs that have been voiced in our trainings recently:

  • My anchor (MVS) will move as I mature in my Christian walk.
  • I will become more effective in my MVS as I mature in Christ.
  • I used to be more BLUE, but as I have grown in Christ and been healed from my wounds, I have become more RED.

All of these statements indicate a misunderstanding of the relationship between spiritual maturity and the SDI 2.0. Our Motivational Value System (MVS) is a fairly stable way we approach our world. We know this from fifty years of research. This is why it is likened to an anchor. It represents what is most important to us and how we see the world. As we mature in Christ, it is best not to think about how to move our anchor, but rather how our soul needs, represented by our anchor, are met.

No MVS is better than another, so moving the anchor is not our goal. Your anchor is the unique way God has made you for His glory. He has wired you to make a unique contribution to His plan. Your MVS is to be celebrated as much as your spiritual gifts. Together, we make up the body of Christ just as the Spirit of God intended.

There are things that change as we grow in spiritual maturity. Here are some things we can anticipate when we are saturated with and changed by the gospel:

  • You will use your MVS to glorify God rather than yourself. Before your soul is transformed by the gospel, you use your MVS to achieve greater acceptance, security, and significance from others. This is draining as you strive for self-worth rather than believing the gospel, which tells you these needs are fully met in Christ. You can trust Him alone. A RED can now grow the church for God’s glory rather than doing it to elevate your significance in the eyes of your community. A BLUE can help others because you are valued by God, rather than worrying about whether or not people will like you. A GREEN is able to develop an excellent plan to take advantage of the opportunities God has called you to without fear. You focus on obedience rather than security. When your soul needs are met in Christ, you are freer to obediently and joyfully use your motivation for God’s kingdom.
  • You will not overdo your strengths as often. (Overdone strengths occur when you are striving to meet your soul needs. Your soul needs are fuel for overdone strengths.) You will continue to pursue your motivational drive and see it as important, but you will maintain greater self-control. For instance, a RED will still want to take advantage of every opportunity but will not be fueled by the need to be successful in such a way as to overdo strengths. The Spirit-filled person will hear the voice of the Spirit whisper in your ear that you are a child of God and all your needs are met (Romans 8:16).
  • You will identify and address your hard heart as you grow in Christ. Hard hearts (shell of the soul) are caused by things like wounds, lies we believe, and difficult family origins. These issues can keep a hold on your life and keep you from changing until you find your soul needs met in Christ. He enables you to release the strongholds as you embrace Christ as all-sufficient.
  • Maturity in Christ enables you to discern the leading of the Spirit from your MVS instinct. As a BLUE, your instinct is almost always to avoid hardship on others. As a RED, your instinct is almost always to do what it takes to win. As a GREEN, your instinct is almost always to wait and research before moving forward. As a HUB, your instinct is to keep changing directions as more information is available. Yet the Spirit of God is speaking and will often lead you differently from your “instinct.” Maturity in Christ enables you to discern the difference between your instinct and God’s leading by His Spirit.
  • Maturity in Christ will not change your MVS but will create in you humility. You will recognize and appreciate the full body of Christ and how we work together for His glory. Serving together will lead to less conflict and greater understanding.

Our MVS stays the same! But it is sanctified by the gospel. Our behaviors change because we have been changed from the inside out. Jesus taught us that if we want to see the entire cup clean, we need to first clean the inside, and then the outside will be clean (Matthew 23:26). The work of the gospel is in our soul. Jesus came to rescue and restore that which was lost.

If you would like to learn more about how our lives are transformed by the gospel from the inside out, you can read Three Passions of the Soul or Soul Discipleship. These two resources will help you connect your SDI 2.0 with the discipleship process.

Bruce Terpstra

Our President, Dr. Bruce Terpstra, has 36 years of pastoral ministry experience. He is a veteran of 17 years in denominational leadership and developed more than 70 new churches in the New York metro area and has given oversight to almost 400 pastors. He holds a doctorate in Leadership Development and is also the founder of 3KeyCoaching and the author of Three Passions of the Soul.