Dear friend, don't let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God's children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God. (3 John 1:11)

William Crawford is still pretty put out with his two sons. He was running to retain his seat on the central committee of the Erie County (Ohio) Democratic Party earlier this month. He and his challenger, David Giese, got exactly the same number of votes — 43 each. And word is that the dead-heat election will probably be decided by the flip of a coin. It needn't have been left to chance.

Crawford, you see, has two sons who are registered Democrats and who were both eligible to vote for their Dad. But they didn't bother to cast a ballot. Andy is a college student who lives at his father's house. Jim lives just across the street from the residence. They simply chose to skip the election.

It's not really that big a deal. It isn't likely to make the difference in a single local, state, or national election. The fate of the republic is not at stake. But it does illustrate the fact that we human beings complicate our own lives and those of others by being disconnected and careless.

My guess is that Jim and Andy had no idea they would put their father's position in jeopardy by failing to show up and vote. There is no evidence of a conspiracy on their part. It was simple negligence fostered by the common idea that one person just doesn't make all that much difference.

Wonder if Eve thought that? Aren't you glad Noah and Abraham, Esther and Mary didn't reason that way? For that matter, who could have known the difference it would make for Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, Helen Keller, or Bill Wilson to make their choices? (In case you don't know their stories, try Google.)

Wonder if Eve thought that?
You will almost surely have a decision to make today about truth-telling or honesty with a client or friend. Will you cast a personal vote for integrity? Maybe your choice is about working through a family problem or risking an affair. How will you vote on the preservation of your covenant commitment?

Don't go ballistic on me here, but Holy Scripture even talks about our relationship with God in terms of an "election." Calvinists and Arminians will continue to debate the topic until Jesus returns. But I remember an old preacher's simplistic explanation that I heard on my car radio years ago.

"God has cast his vote for you to be saved and to live in righteousness, joy, and peace," he said. "But the devil has voted for you to share hell with him forever. It's a tie. And you will cast the vote that decides the election!"

Before laughing at him, think about the choices on your agenda today.