When I preach I try to avoid telling people what to do. None of my friends like to be told what to do. Instead of telling other people what to do about a particular situation or shortcoming in our lives, I tell people what I do or try to do. I talk about the difficulty in trying to do what I want to do. I am honest about my own imperfections and struggles. Some people seem to find this helpful for their own life. Most people say nothing, so I never know the overall effect of my preaching. But I do know that I seem to benefit from my honesty. When I was younger I did not benefit from my big sister Maureen's honesty about my shortcomings. Youth finds honesty too uncomfortable. We are defending our turf, building our egos, competing for acceptance. Childhood is the time for lies. But it does not work if we are going to mature and grow in some spiritual dimension.