2 Corinthians 7:8
For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
Paul said that the epistle he wrote to the church of Corinth caused them to be sorry, but the amazing part is they never told him they were sorry. He knew they were sorry because their actions showed their sorrow. Their sorrow caused them to regret what they did and changed their mindset toward what they did and how they lived.
“I’m sorry” does not mean that you are truly sorry. If you are truly sorry, you won't have to say you are sorry because your changed actions will prove it. Too many think that saying they are sorry absolves them of the wrong, but true sorrow causes a person to change several things in their life.
First, true sorrow causes you to repent. Paul said this church sorrowed to repentance. Repentance is turning from one action to the opposite. In other words, when you are truly sorry, you will stop what you are doing that is wrong. Many come to God and say they are sorry, but they go back and do the same thing, which shows they had no sorrow at all. Saying you are sorry to obtain God’s forgiveness is to no avail if you do the same thing over again. True sorrow always results in repentance because you regret what you have done to God or others.
Second, true sorrow causes a carefulness towards doing the same thing again. When you are truly sorry for what you have done, you will be extremely careful to avoid anything that would cause you to do it again. To say you are sorry and not remove any of the things from your life that caused you to do wrong is not true sorrow at all. When you are truly sorry, you will be cautious about doing anything or being with anyone that would cause you to repeat the same sin.
Third, true sorrow causes you to become an open book. Paul said the sorrow of this church brought about a clearing of themselves. Sorrow causes you to live a life with no secrets; you become extremely open about how you live now, because you know that hiding actions is what brought about sin in the first place. Being transparent and open about how you live is a natural result of sorrow; you can't put it on because it is obvious if it is genuine or fake.
Fourth, true sorrow causes extreme disgust for your wrong actions. In other words, what you did becomes so disgusting to you that it has no pull or tempting power over your life. When you have indignation towards something, there is nothing attractive about it. When you are truly sorry for your sin, you will not be tempted by it because of the disgust you have towards it.
Fifth, true sorrow brings a great desire to serve God. Sorrow gives a great zeal to do right. When you have indignation toward your sin, it clears up your mind to have the zeal to do something great for God. True sorrow brings a great desire to get revenge on the Devil. When you are sorry for what you have done, you want to right every wrong, and get revenge on the Devil by making a greater impact for right than the impact your sin caused.
My friend, you can say you are sorry, but true sorrow doesn't have to say a thing; it shows it. If you are truly sorry for what you did wrong, your actions will more than reveal your sorrow.