[21a top] Gemarah: If a judge was a thief, he would still be considered qualified if two others testify that he did Teshuva (repentance).
RambaM: It is not enough just to return stolen money, but to gain true repentance, one needs to go through the three full steps of: Confession/Acknowledgment of sin, Remorse/Seeking Forgiveness, and Commitment not to fall again.
D-E-ep Thoughts: Saying “sorry” does not cut it for Teshuva. In order to RETURN to G-d and elevate our states, we need to show ourselves, G-d, and others the new people that we want to become. It is extremely difficult for people to actually change, but with G-d’s help, we can in fact do it. The greatest of all fall seven times, but to use the momentum to spring back to even greater heights is what our challenges are truly about.