Weighing the Shekels
By Most Illustrious Companion John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master and Grand Treasurer, Grand Council of New Jersey
MIC John D. Barnes
Past Most Illustrious Grand Master of New Jersey
'"Let me be weighed in an even balance," said Job, "that God may know mine integrity"; and Solomon says that "a false balance is abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight." So we find that among the ancients a balance, or pair of scales, was a well-known recognized symbol of a strict observation of justice and fair dealing.' -Mackey
The Treasurer’s duties include numbering and weighing the shekels. As he determines the proper value of each coin, based on its weight and purity, he must be certain that his scales are true. While the coins may vary, the scales must remain constant and even. The weights used to judge the coins must be accurate.
The coins are representative of the actions of our Companions: some good, some bad; some meant as good, but doing harm; some that make us happy, and some that make us sad. The manner in which we judge those actions, and our own conduct, are the scales. The weights are the weight we give those actions.
If you constantly forgive or excuse your own faults while berating others for theirs, your scales are not balanced. If you let your friends say things you know are not true without admonishing them, you need to correct your scales. If your prejudices and biases cause you to be harsher on those you do not like, your weights are false.
As a Select Master, you should always strive to keep your working tools in order. You would sharpen a dull saw or knife. You would replace a twisted plumb or level. The handle of your gavel would not remain broken for very long. And the weight that was wrong would be cast aside for a true and honest one.
The old saying is: “It’s a poor workman who blames his tools.” Perhaps the corollary should be: “It’s a foolish workman who uses broken tools."