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This is a true story. Two guys in a church, Paul and William decided that they really wanted to become godly men. So they started meeting with one another to pray and encourage one another; they even set goals for themselves and their behavior, and then were accountable to the other one.

Paul decided he wanted to break his habit of using profanity. He decided he was going to put five dollars in the offering for every time he swore during the week. In order to stay accountable, he would tell William how many times he'd failed.

The first week cost Paul $100.

Now, Paul must've been doing ok financially, because that didn't stop his swearing. In fact, while he improved somewhat over the next couple weeks, he really wasn¡¦t having the success he wanted and was losing a lot of hard-earned cash.

After the fourth week, William told Paul he had decided that the deal needed to be changed for the coming week, but he wasn¡¦t going to tell Paul how it would change. He just said, ¡§Trust me. It will cost you both less and more.¡¨

When they met the following Sunday before worship, Paul admitted he¡¦d failed again. William put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Paul, I told you this was going to cost you both less and more. It’s called grace."

William took out his checkbook, and made out a check to the church, leaving the amount blank.

He gave the check to Paul and said, "Your sin still costs, but for you it’s free. Just fill in the numbers. And next week there will be more grace."

William's grace cost him $55 the first week; the second only cost him $20. There was no third week. Paul couldn't bear to see what his sin was costing his friend, so he quit sinning.

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