Sometimes I come across as naive.
Sometimes it's true, I missed a clue or reality that others pick up on (witness the recent surprise birthday party, I missed a number of clues!). At other times, I'm being intentionally "naive", particularly about people's futures.
You see, I deeply desire people to change, to come to know the Lord, or grow much more deeply in their walk with him. I believe that God changes people (who allow Him to change them). I believe that people can be much better than they currently are.
This runs cross-grain with the belief that people are just a sum total of their experiences, that they will continue to make the same mistakes in the future that they've made in the past. Often this is true. But sometimes it isn't. And it's the "sometimes" I'm looking toward and working for.
Today I wrote a jail inmate that I've known for a few years, someone who has bounced in and out of jails over the last few years. I honestly believe that he can change (more accurately, that God can change him). I will treat him as one that can change. This may make me appear naive, but so what - if he changes, then bring on the naivete!