If you like to tell people you are 'an honest person' and they tend to recoil a little, that's because you are probably a liar. Or a politician. When we overemphasize a virtue that should be commonplace (like telling the truth), we shine a light on the virtue and then we stand next to it.
Those who don't yet know Jesus watch us that do. When we say that we love Jesus and that our faith should manifest itself in love, yet we are less than loving - we betray His image. People look at the broken pieces of us and think what? For example, I used to work with a guy who claimed to be a Christian and he threw the biggest rip-roaring childish tantrums you have ever seen. When a toddler throws these tantrums we can put them in time out, but when a grown man pitches a fit it causes more damage, his power used to draw attention to himself.
Let's be real here, though. We are all hypocrites. Yes, all of us. None of us can behave our way to the lap of God - that's why we need Help. I have heard people say that Christianity is a crutch. Well it is at least that, as if you're anything like me you need a lot more than a crutch to be Christ-like. Crutches don't help much with a shot through heart. We need more than poles that stick in our armpits and help us hobble forward.
Ghandi once said that he likes our Christ but not our Christians. (Ghandi liking Jesus was an odd thing, as he liked someone who said they were God and walked around doing miracles - so did he think Jesus was a madman or God?) Ghandi had a point: Christians don't always act like Jesus.
Okay okay. So we fail. What then?
When - not if - we fail to image Christ perfectly at work, the key is to humbly accept that we failed. Repent to God and those you have hurt and move on. Humility is the missing link to inconsistent messages. We are not meant to live in boxes scared to move for fear of failure. Failure is liked a rolled ankle in basketball - if you play hard and play often, it'll happen. And it'll heal.
Keep playing anyway.
But we must learn and grow before we move on. We must right the wrongs we create and understand that we are, like it or not, watched by others. Our inconsistency can leave a wake of confusion if we aren't careful. The more we sit at Jesus' feet, the less we'll behave like a schizo at work. We aren't perfect, but He is.