Every day I am forgiven for many sins of many kinds, and although on the one hand forgiveness seems such an impossible thing (but grace is greater than all my sin), on the other hand I receive it often without wonder and nearly always without offering any “fruit.”
When the Lord punished Israel, Isaiah wrote: “Only then can the fruit of his forgiveness be shown: they must smash their stone altars into pounded chalk” (Is 27:9 JBP).
When I acknowledge a specific sin, it is a good thing to do something specific to demonstrate my determination to forsake it. Smash an altar, sacrifice an hour of sleep or a meal (if the sin has been, e.g., failure to do what I want to do “because I haven’t time”), write a note of apology to one sinned against, make restitution in some way for a wrong. To arise and obey in such a particular act is an appropriate sign of the genuineness of my repentance–the fruit of forgiveness.