Tuesday, October 06, 2015

New Peeple people-rating app - Parish Magazine Item

From The Rectory

On the whole, I think there is no doubt that we should regard the internet as a great blessing. And social media (such as Facebook and Twitter) has its uses and can be lots of fun. It helps people stay in touch or be informed. All that’s is good.
But we all know there is a darker side to the internet. Like anything, it can be misused. And the same goes for social media.

You probably will have heard on teenagers being bullied terribly on-line, and sometimes being suicidal as a result. There was a time when someone who was bullied at school might at least be safe at home and close the door on the abuse they face. But today, wherever your smart phone goes, malevolent messages can follow. And once something is posted online, it’s tricky to remove. A quote or an image could potentially be seen by millions all around the world in a few quick clicks. Teenage mistakes are not so easily forgotten in the internet age.  

One especially worrying possible new app which was said by the BBC to be due to launch this month is Peeple. Extending the idea of review sites such as Trip Advisor or Yelp, Peeple, it was reported, will allow users to review people and give them star ratings.

If people are sometimes anxious about how many likes or “friends” they have on Facebook, it’s easy to imagine the distress which such a website might cause. Who wants to receive one star? And I guess some people will be disappointed not to be talked about. Some might prefer negative reviews to being ignored.

The Christian faith offers an increasingly counter cultural view of human worth and dignity. We are created in the image of God – and you can’t get much better than that. Whatever others might think about us, we are thoroughly known and loved by God. Our value does not depend on our performance or achievements, or how we manage to present ourselves in the real or virtual world.

Yet, if we’re honest, we know that there are times when we don’t measure up to our own standards, let alone God’s. None of us could expect a perfect review. It’s a worrying thought to consider how an all-knowing God would rate our integrity, or kindness, or patience, or honesty or …. You could probably fill in the blanks of ways in which you are not the person you know you ought to be.

The good news of the Christian faith is forgiveness and grace – the undeserved love of God which we can’t earn and don’t have to pay for. The Christian life is not about notching up points with God or trying to work our way into his good books. Jesus took the punishment for his people, so that their relationship with a holy God might be restored.

If we put our trust in Christ, we are united to him by faith. His righteousness, his record, his performance, his rating with God his Father, is credited to us. When God looks at a believer, he sees his perfect beloved Son whom he loves. We are counted righteous in him, despite the bad things we’ve done and the good things we’ve failed to do.

The believer in his or her right mind, ought to care above all else what God makes of him or her. He is the one we seek to please. Of course we like to be liked, but the assurance of the love of God can free us from what the Bible would call an insatiable people-pleasing. What others might think of me matters less when I remember that my loving heavenly Father cares for me, warts and all.  

but see also

No comments: