One of the main behaviors of a true believer is to repent when we sin. All of us sin. Sometimes we sin without even knowing it, sometimes we sin by mistake, and yet other times we sin knowing full well what we’re doing. Whatever the case may be, we need realign ourselves with our creator. That means that when we repent, we must take action to distance ourselves from the sin that brought us to our knees in the first place. Paul puts it like this in Acts 26, the second part of verse 20 which says:
"I preach that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds."
Paul says this to King Agrippa at the tail of his conversion story; that he preaches that we should repent and turn to God and prove our repentance by our deeds. I kind of compare this concept to the earthly relationships we have with our loved ones. If we sin against them, it wouldn’t make much sense if we just said sorry then continued hurting them as if we never said anything at all. If we did, our “repentance” wouldn’t mean much. It only matters when we back up those words with deeds, or as Paul puts it, if we prove our repentance by our deeds. And the deeds I think he is referring to here, is to take action to not sin in the same way again. In fact, we are to do a 180, to completely turn from our sin and go in the opposite direction. Not only should we stop sinning, but we should pursue righteousness.
Paul says that we are to prove our repentance by our deeds. That can be very hard, especially if your sin amounts to a form of addiction. But the idea of repentance starts in the heart. We have to feel sorry for what we’ve done, and decide that we’re going to stop sinning or stop continuing our addiction. By ourselves, this is impossible. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible. I encourage you, if you’re dealing with a sin addiction, first remember what Paul says in Ephesians 6. Every day, put on the full armor of God. Pray for protection and help. And he says that when we’ve done everything to stand, stand. But you can’t do that until you truly repent by taking change seriously, because when we do, we are proving our repentance by our deeds.