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A young girl was being sold at auction one day. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slender. The bidding was keen, and quickly mounted higher and higher until at last only two men were left bidding for her ownership: the one a low, uncouth foul-mouthed fellow who raised his bid every time to outbid the other, a quiet man of refinement.

Finally the bidding stopped, and to the gentleman who had bid so very earnestly were given the papers which made him the lawful owner of the young girl.

With a shove the auctioneer presented her to her new master. Proudly, defiantly, she stood before him, hating him with every part of her being.

Suddenly, a change came over her face: first there was a look of pure amazement closely followed by one of utter disbelief.

Her owner was ripping up the papers of ownership, and, with a smile of kindness said to the now trembling girl, “My dear, you are free. I bought you that I might free you. You are set free.”

Too stunned for speech, the girl merely stared till finally, with a cry of happiness too deep for words, she cast herself at the man’s feet, and through her tears exclaimed, “Oh, master, I’ll love you and serve you for life!”

What the papers of ownership could not do, the man’s kindness had won completely.

(Source: Evangelical International High School Quarterly. From a sermon by Bill Butsko, "Set Free" 7/27/08, Set Free by Bill Butsko)

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