In Defense of Being Naive

A friend recently accused me of being naive. Not meaning it to be a compliment, he was surprised when I agreed with him. Naive, lacking worldliness, innocent, without artifice, simple, credulous as a child-these are what I am supposed to be as a born-again Christian so I am glad someone saw these things in me.

The most negative words in the thesaurus associated with naive were ignorant and unsophisticated. The world’s body of knowledge being what it is, I would claim that everyone is ignorant is many areas. A synonym of sophisticated is complicated. While not considered desirable, I won’t deny these descriptions of me. I am ignorant of so many things, sometimes by choice, often not, and my life is simple.

Lacking critical thinking is another negative description associated with being naive. In one sense of critical thinking, characterized by careful and exact evaluation, I am not lacking. When I practiced medicine and in dealing with business and finances, I am capable of critical thinking. In the sense of critical, judging severely, I am not a critical thinker. I choose not to judge severely nor to dwell on the evil things in the world. I choose to follow Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things” (NIV).

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