God Sees the White Shirt
We must keep sin in its proper perspective. Satan would convince us that we are defined by our sins. He would have had the repentant W. W. Phelps see himself always as a traitor. He would convince someone who has stolen that he is and always will be a thief.
The Savior, in contrast, would have us understand that we have sins that need to be cleansed, but we are much more than those stains. If I spill ketchup on my shirt, I have a stain. Perhaps it is right in front where everyone can see it. But while I have a stain, I am not the stain. I need to recognize that there is a good deal of my shirt that is clean and white. I believe that God sees the white shirt—the goodness in His children—and offers, through Christ, to remove the stains. If we obsess about the stain, however, it will become who we are in our minds and then in our actions.
(D. Chad Richardson, “Forgiving Oneself,” Ensign, March 2007)