practice what you preach


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practice what (one) preaches

To do the things or behave the way that one advises, dictates, or espouses. My parents always told us to respect each other and not to bicker, and they really did practice what they preached. If you're going to tell your employees not to incur excessive, unnecessary costs, then you had better practice what you preach.
See also: practice, preach, what

Practice what you preach.

Prov. Cliché You yourself should do the things you advise other people to do. Dad always told us we should only watch an hour of television every day, but we all knew he didn't practice what he preached.
See also: practice, preach, what

practice what you preach

Behave as you would have others behave, as in You keep telling us to clean up, but I wish you'd practice what you preach. This idiom expresses an ancient idea but appeared in this precise form only in 1678. Also see do as I say.
See also: practice, preach, what

practice what you preach

Do as you would have others do. The idea is an ancient one, expressed in somewhat different form in the Bible (Matthew 23:3): “They say and do not” (King James Version; the Revised Standard version changed it to “they preach but do not practice”). Repeated often over the centuries, it appears in Dickens’s Old Curiosity Shop (1840): “Divines do not always practice what they preach.” See also do as i say.
See also: practice, preach, what