Wouldn't you know it--right on the heels of my including a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a blog post, I find that there's a blog article by Mitch Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Pacifism and Assassination, featured on Gospelcom.net describing his part in conspiring to kill Hitler. Now I realize that Hitler (like the rest of us but more perceptibly) deserved death, but Bonhoeffer's own writings show that he understood much better than I the importance of turning the other cheek in the extreme, against all odds. It shows the inconsistency and unreliability of man, that he can be famous, known for solid theology, and still live in a manner that opposes it. I know that, alas, many instances in my own life fall short of even my own limited understanding of God's truth.
It underscores the importance that we never put our trust in man...that doesn't mean to be mistrusting of those who by their actions you would deem trustworthy in a human sense; it doesn't mean that you have to go through life constantly, cynically expecting disillusionment from those close to you or in high positions, but it does mean that you don't hang your salvation, your soul, on any human being, and if or when they fall, you avoid following them into the pit. It does mean that you need to stand ready to rebuke, exhort, equip; to strengthen the joints that fail--you need to watch and help those who are weak as much as it depends on you. If they shove you away, that's one thing, but if they turn from their fall, you may save a soul from death.