What if God was counting?

Two weeks back, my niece was christened. During the ceremony the priest read the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. I was amazed to see parallels between management in software testing and a 2000 year old story. Here’s the story as I found it online by searching for it:

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed abouta himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

(see Luke 18)

Now, the priest explained how God would look at both of them. In fact, the Pharisee tells all what he has achieved and how disciplined he is about his religion. He uses 31 words to describe that he is superior to some other folks, and names a few, even referencing the tax collector as a bad example. On the other hand, the tax collector knows his wrong steps, and asks for mercy in barely 6 words.

The priest continued that God could judge the prayers from both based on the number of words they used to reach him. Clearly, the Pharisee looks better here, as he has the larger number of words, 31, as opposed to the 6 words from the tax collector. But instead, we get told, that God rather takes a look on the one who knows about his failings, and simply asks for forgiveness. Wonderful.

That was when I started to wonder whether God would be counting lines of code or test cases…

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