שׁ֚וּבָה יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֖ד יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ כִּ֥י כָשַׁ֖לְתָּ בַּֽעֲוֹנֶךָ
O Israel, return to the Eternal your God; for you have stumbled in your iniquity.
Take with you words and turn to the Eternal and say, Forgive all iniquity and accept the good and we will offer the fruit of our lips (Hosea 14:2-3).
The notion of t’shuvah means that the transgression does not contain an ineradicable stain from straying from the right path. At the same time, we find here that “your iniquity” is addressed to the individual and not to the entire community. This seems to be in agreement with II Samuel, and I kept myself from my iniquity (22:24). Every person has been created for the purpose of effecting a specific improvement in the world, according to the Rabbi of Ger. It is up to us to try and prevent any inclination that prevents us from this accomplishment.
Hosea continues by not simply offering “words” of promise that I will return to the path, but I will “offer the fruit of our lips.” In other words, “talk is cheap.” And, confession is all well and good, but it is not what we “say” that is important, but what we “do.” The fruit of our lips is turning our words into action. Asking to be forgiven is part “1.” Part “2” is making sure you do not do it again. Part “3” is getting back on the right path and doing what you are supposed to do.