Tom (single) and Brady (married to Karen, with baby son, Elijah) were buddies in every since of the word. They were fighting the same enemy, sharing foxholes, and covering each other's backs. They had a bond which would never be broken. At the end of a day of fighting, Tom would hide from his emotions in a bottle of Jim Beam while Brady would immerse himself in the Word of God. Brady was trying to share Jesus with Tom, but it was tough to understand love when you were killing people every day. And then the unthinkable happened. An enemy grenade was tossed within yards of Tom--and Brady instinctively ran and fell on it. After the shock, Tom became sober-minded and laser-focused and determined his future fate...he was going home and taking care of Karen & Elijah...for Brady. Which is exactly what he did. He came home and found a job in the city where Karen lived and began helping her financially and doing odd jobs she needed. He babysat Elijah occasionally...and loved it. And gradually, Tom came to understand that Jesus died for him and he, in turn, committed his life to Him. The story doesn't end there, though. Tom and Karen fell in love, got married, and Tom adopted Elijah. Tom & Brady's story is a story of unconditional love...and holiness.
You see, Tom set himself apart to take care of Karen after Brady's death. He was sober-minded. He didn't allow anything to detract from his commitment to Karen (and Brady). His life was devoted to taking care of his buddy's family--because of Brady's great sacrifice for him.
That's holiness. Holiness is being set apart. It's not being perfect or holier-than-thou. It's understanding the great sacrifice made for us and committing to live for the one who made that sacrifice. It's loving Jesus for what He did for us...and then living single-mindedly for Him.
I've been consumed with understanding holiness lately. Instead of the kind of devotion that Tom demonstrated, I see more of us wondering how little we can do and how close we can come to the line of worldliness...and still love Jesus. We're not sober-minded and laser-focused or consumed with living for the One who sacrificed his life for us. We love the world and the things of the world more, it seems. But God has called us to holiness...a life set apart for Him.