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Choose a biblical character that exemplifies the process of growing in Christ and thereby also grows in their God-given gifts. Explain how the biblical character changes as they grow in Christ. What can can be learned from this character?

Peter exemplifies the process of growing in Christ, thereby developing his God-given gifts as a faithful "rock" on which the Christian church can be built. Like many of us, he has to face his demons and feel deep sorrow for his mistakes before he can become the person he was meant to be.

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A biblical character who undergoes a great deal of growth in the gospels is Peter. He and his brother, Andrew, recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but for a long time, Peter doesn't understand what this means. He believes that by following Jesus, he will receive the typical worldly fame and fortune that comes from being associated with a great leader.

Even though Jesus often gets angry at Peter's cluelessness, Peter doesn't "get" that Jesus is on earth to serve others and to suffer, not to be a glorious leader in the worldly mode. Therefore, despite having promised over and over again to stand by Jesus, when the test comes, Peter fails. When the Roman soldiers arrest Jesus and it becomes apparent they are going to at least torture and likely kill him, Peter gets very, very frightened that he will be arrested too. When people point him out as Jesus's friend, Peter is so scared that he says he never knew Jesus. He wants to save himself rather than support Jesus.

Peter, however, grows when he realizes how terribly he has let down his mentor. He weeps and hits rock bottom. How could he have put saving his own skin first? As the result of this experience, Peter changes and becomes a more faithful and useful follower of Christ.

Peter strikes me as one of the most "real" people in the Bible. He doesn't start out as a saint but as a flawed person who wants to get ahead by backing the right man. Like many of us, he only learns when he has to face his demons. He begins to grow when he is able to recognize that he is imperfect and capable of betraying a friend. Once he faces what he has done, Peter is able to become the "rock" that is the foundation of the Christian church.

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