At our January stated meeting, I heard the words of the Junior Warden’s closing charge as I’ve heard them many times. But this time, a particular sentence stuck out to me:
“You have been enjoined to remind a Brother in the most friendly manner of his fault, to endeavor to aid his reformation, and to defend his character.”
How does one achieve this? How can one aid in the reformation of a Brother’s faults, or defend his character when we disagree with him?
The answer, I believe, is quite simply to assume the best of the Brother in question. Just because someone holds a view different than your own does not mean that they are malicious in defending that point of view. We must all work to keep our passions in due bounds in cases such as these, and strive to understand our Brothers’ varying points of view. With understanding, we can point out deficiencies in perspective or understanding and help our Brother smooth his ashlar. Further, we can test our own understanding, and perhaps learn something for ourselves.
We all think and act according to our own consciences as best as we are able, and that assumption should be the foundation for your evaluation of a Brother’s faults.
Be well, and keep working,
Chris Chase, Junior Warden
Friendship Masonic Lodge #160, AF&AM