My stepfather is only one example of a man who has impacted my life as a result of his relationship with Christ. Throughout this series, I want to share with you about some of the other men who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share that you, too, will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.

Have you ever been compared to anyone in your life? Perhaps a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or uncle or maybe even a sibling?

It's okay if you happen to like who you are being compared to. I don't mind when people tell me I have long beautiful fingers like my Grandma Bell who I adored and miss or that I am creative like my mother (she is so talented). But when it's negative such as, "Your taste in things is so strange, Kris. You are just like your Polish grandmother Genny" (who no one cared for) or "You are so stubborn, just like your birth father" (who has been out of my life for over 30 years), well, then it hurts.

So why do we get compared to others? Is it to compliment us or to hurt us, to get us to change, to grow us or do people just want something to say and it means nothing? Well, no matter why people do it, it does have an effect on us.

Some actions that are being compared are simply personality traits and depending on whom you are being compared to, have little effect on you. The fact that my eccentric grandmother's taste may have had a negative effect on people does not in any way make me feel bad about myself as I like the fact that I don't have a house of furniture that looks like it all came from the same store where everyone else is shopping. But, when people (family) also compared my controlling behavior to hers, that is when I decided I needed to change. I saw what her sin had done to her and her family over the years, and I did not want to be compared to her anymore.

Peter, of the Bible has also been someone who I have been compared to. Not by others, but by myself. Sure, people have teased me over the years about Peter being known as the mouth and how similar we are in that area. My tongue has encouraged people and also hurt people. But I personally have compared myself to Peter, because I have experienced some of the same things he has. I relate to not only his zeal for drawing closer to Christ, the desire to serve him, the desire to make things right and to motivate people, but also to his desire to be an example to others. Those around Peter would see not only his successes, but also his failures. And through these experiences, they would in turn learn and grow. This is my heart, to allow others to see me draw closer to God, not to hurt them but to encourage them to do the same.

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God" (Matthew 14:22-33).

What I Have Learned from Peter: