R∴ W∴ Jay B. McCallum

A Message from the Grand Junior Warden,

The Friction of Friendship

Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.“ Sharpening envisions a rubbing together or honing. This friction of friendship whets us into more finely honed instruments than we would be if left to ourselves. Those with whom we rub shoulders have an impact on us. Even when our friendships are tested in difficult times, our friends serve to buff out our rough edges and soften our coarseness. After all, friction and pressure turn a lump of carbon into a diamond, friction from abrasives polish a rough surface into a mirror, and the laving of water turns rough stones into smooth river rocks.

As my grandfather would say, “association leads to assimilation.” It is always preferable that we assimilate the good and constructive rather than the bad and deleterious. When we are surrounded by good people, we develop and improve spiritually, mentally, and emotionally because of the positive influence they exert upon us. Attitudes, like cold viruses, are contagious; better to be infected by the beneficial than the detrimental. Freemasonry surrounds us with good men.

The friction of friendship with my brothers in Freemasonry has been one of the great blessings of my life. Paraphrasing what the writer of this Proverb said, my Masonic brothers truly “sharpeneth” my countenance in myriad constructive ways. We gather as a group of men who place a high value on the shared ideals of God, country, and family. These are men who believe the Bible should be not only in the center of our lodge halls but in the center of our lives. I am convinced that my friendships within the lodge are tools that God has used to hone me into a better Christian. Because my Masonic friends have sharpened me, I am a better man than I would have been without the friction of Masonic friendship and brotherly love.

Just as we have been sharpened by our friends, so too we are obligated to be a whetstone to sharpen others. Every day we encounter others and they leave our presence with their countenances either sharpened or dulled by our interaction with them. As we supply the friction of friendship to others we do so in emulation of Jesus who first called us friend and who was the truest friend of all (John 15:13-15).

You, my brothers, have now seen fit to elect me to serve you as Grand Junior Warden. By doing so, you have given me the opportunity to be sharpened and improved by countless additional brothers that I will now be able to meet in my fraternal travels. It is my prayer that God will use me to sharpeneth your countenances as you have surely sharpened mine.


R∴ W∴ Jay B. McCallum

Grand Junior Warden