Well, as often happens, no good deed (or intention) goes unpunished.

Last week, I wrote about Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, N.C., which was giving a 15 percent discount to diners who, grateful for their meals, prayed before eating. A diner, surprised at the discount, had posted her receipt on Facebook.

The praise poured in.

But so did the criticism.

The restaurant, under what it considered the threat of a lawsuit, decided to drop the discount, reported Wesley Young for the Winston-Salem Journal.

A handwritten note in the window of the restaurant said, in part, “We must protect your freedom from religion in a public place. It is illegal and we are being threatened by lawsuit. We apologize to our community for any offense this discount has incurred.”

Wrote Hannah Bae for Newsday: “The discontinued discount at Mary’s appeared to be prompted by a letter from the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, which sent a letter to the restaurant earlier this week that urged them to stop.” (You can read a copy of the letter uploaded by Newsday here.)

In an interview with Young, diner co-owner Mary Haglund said the “discount was never meant to promote any particular religion — or lack of religion — but was meant to show appreciation for people who had what she called ‘an attitude of gratitude.’ She said that calling it a discount for prayer may have been ‘a bad choice of words.’ ”

For the Color of Money question for last week I asked: Do you think it’s fair for people to get a discount for praying?

The overwhelming majority of readers, who e-mailed before the diner dropped the discount, didn’t think the restaurant was doing anything wrong.

“Since when does the owner of a company (or anyone for that matter) have to explain or be told to whom and for what they want to give a gift (whether it be merchandise or whatever?” wrote Dianne C. Kirven of Houston. “I am a firm believer that if you don’t like what is being offered, don’t participate/accept it — geeze!”

“My hackles are raised,” wrote Larry Almasy of Firestone, Colo. “Fairness is subjective. Is it fair to offer discounts to seniors and the military? Is it fair that CEOs make millions while the rank-and-file lives paycheck to paycheck? This is not about fairness. This is not about public prayer. This is about a private sector business decision. If a business owner decides to provide unpublished discounts based on the color of a customer’s clothes just to make life interesting, is that fair? I say the customers are fortunate to have selected a business (restaurant) where the owner is willing to share life’s bounty.”

But Kevin Sanchez-Cherry of Ellicott City, Md., wrote: “If any business is allowed to run the way they want, especially based on religious affiliation/beliefs, there will be those who are left out because of following a different religion or no religion.”

Although, as a society, we do have to make sure people aren’t discriminated against, I don’t think the intent here was to exclude but recognize those grateful for what they have.

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Share your retirement concerns

The Washington Post is building a wealth and retirement site. As part of the effort, we are looking for people willing to discuss — on the record — the challenges of planning and saving for retirement.

If you’re having trouble saving for retirement, you are not alone. The Federal Reserve recently released a report that found one in five people who are near retirement age haven’t saved a penny, reported The Washington Post’s Jonnelle Marte.

“The study offered a stark reminder that as more Americans are made responsible for their own retirement, most are not saving nearly enough,” Marte wrote. “Overall, 31 percent of people said they have zero money saved for retirement and do not have a pension. That included 19 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64, or those closest to retirement age.”

So talk to us, and if you decide to share your story, there’s a bonus. A retirement expert will look over your finances and provide advice about what more, if anything, you should be doing to help create a financially secure retirement. And, don’t worry, here’s what editors say about the information you provide: “We will limit financial information used in the story to just what’s necessary to make the situation clear. For instance, we might say, ‘Emma Smith has saved the equivalent of three years’ worth of her current salary in her 401(k) plan’ rather than use the dollar figures.”

Send your stories to money@washpost.com and include your age, family situation and employment info. Include the details of what you’ve done so far for retirement planning. If you haven’t done much to save for retirement, tell us that, too. The idea is to use people’s stories and challenges to help others. If you are picked, the paper will connect you with a financial expert who will provide you with advice about your individual situation.

Color of Money question of the week

You may not want to share your entire story, but I’m still interested in where you stand for retirement. What’s the biggest roadblock that has prevented you from saving for your retirement? Send your comments along with your name and city to colorofmoney@washpost.com.

Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to www.postbusiness.com.