Faithlife Sermons

The Stranglers And The Wranglers

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Years ago a group of brilliant young men at the University of Wisconsin, with amazing creative literary talent, met regularly to read and critique each other's work. They were merciless in their criticism. They dissected the most minute literary expression into a hundred pieces. Their critique sessions became such arenas of literary criticism that the members of this exclusive club called themselves the Stranglers.

At the same time, the women of literary talent in the university formed a comparable club. They called themselves the Wranglers. They, too, read their works to one another and critiqued them. However, their criticism was much softer, more positive and encouraging. Every effort, even the most feeble one, was encouraged.

Twenty years later, an alumnus of the university was researching the careers of this particular class when he noticed the vast difference in the literary accomplishments of the Stranglers as opposed to the Wranglers. Of all the bright young men in the Stranglers, not one had made a significant literary accomplishment of any kind. But from the Wranglers had come six or more successful writers, some of national renown.

The talent level of the men and women was probably about the same. Their level of education was similar. The difference was that the Stranglers strangled out hope, while the Wranglers wrangled from each writer their most hidden gifts through their words of encouragement.

[Zig Ziglar, Over the Top. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994, p. 241

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