He applied for a job in the St Albans area with an impressive CV and glowing references. But both sets of paperwork failed to paint an honest picture.

It has taken a year or so for the evidence to point to the truth, but by now damage has been done.

The culture today teaches everyone to write hyped-up CVs. But the reality discovered on appointment so often disappoints.

It’s not just when applying for jobs that we present a false image.

I’ve asked several people over the phone today how they are, and all told me they were fine, just fine. I wonder…… We all tend to keep from the world the reality of difficult family relationships, worries about debt, concerns at making the grade at work, or our loneliness.

I am fortunate to belong to a church where committed relationships mean that people are prepared to be honest.

Last Sunday I had one conversation with a man whose wife died a few weeks ago. He did not feel he had to say he was fine.

My wife meanwhile was talking to someone else with a family member who was causing her distress. She explained it as it was.

Jesus said that he came not for the sake of people who claimed to be fine, but for those who were all messed up.

It’s worth finding a church where real people with messy lives have found Someone who really cares and can help.