Guilt and shame are powerful things. Part of their power is the connection we all have between our memories and our emotions. We can relive our failures, and feel again the sting of disappointing those we love, as we recall scenes from our past. Excuses or rationalizations can relieve a portion of this as we remind ourselves that “everyone is imperfect” and that our regret and recognition is a sign of our emotional maturity. Yet reasons cannot erase the memories or touch the feelings that are tied to the vivid scenes we all replay, of times when we acted in ways that were stupid, callous, hurtful, unethical, or cruel.
Peter had met the Risen Lord, along with the other disciples, in the Upper Room, on the first Easter evening. Jesus had bestowed his peace and recommissioned his hiding band of followers. But Peter was still crippled by guilt and shame?
Why is it so hard to believe in and to receive forgiveness?
Do you have memories that cripple you?