suit (one's) actions to (one's) words

suit (one's) actions to (one's) words

1. To do the things or behave the way that one advises, dictates, or espouses; to practice what one preaches. My parents always told us to respect each other and not to bicker, but they rarely suited their actions to their words. If you're going to tell your employees not to incur excessive, unnecessary costs, then you had better be prepared to suit your actions to your words.
2. To follow through with what one has one has promised or threatened to do. Don't threaten to quit your job unless you're actually willing to suit your actions to your words. He always talks about these grand adventures he's going to embark upon, but he never suits his actions to his words.
See also: action, suit, word

suit one's actions to one's words

to behave in accordance with what one has said; to do what one has promised or threatened to do. Mr. Smith suited his actions to his words and punished the children. John threatened to quit, and when he didn't get his way, he suited his actions to his words.
See also: action, suit, word