Prevaricate is a tough word. First, it isn’t a word traditionally or normally found in our vocabulary. We do not often use the word. Left alone many would struggle to accurately guess the word meaning. Yet, in spire of this I gently suggest that the word accurately describes many of our lives. The opposite meaning is found in the story that surrounds John’s response to an aggressive inquiry. “When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest. He didn't evade the question. He told the plain truth: ‘I am not the Messiah.’” (John 1.19, 20)
Prevaricating, to hedge, beat around the bush, quibble, stall, or dissemble, when being question is as normal and natural as breathing. I often rationalize what is fact and truth. In a world where we are overwhelmed by too much data and words masking as information the process is easy! Who knows what truth is anyways? Does anyone really care that I passed on something that I know isn’t 100% factual? It is important to spare people’s feelings, isn’t it? The questions and implied answers are endless. Yet in the end I find my motivation with each is the same, I want to deceive.
Truth is a commodity that few expect. At the same time it is something that when we hear it I find that people actually feel different. It is as if things that are true and good are also nurturing to our souls! There is evidence that our bodies are far more “honest” in their response to words, actions, and situations. “We” know what truth is when we hear, see, and experience it; no matter how much we openly wonder. “We” know when we are telling the truth, even when things appear to be incredibly confusing. Yet we prevaricate as if our lives depended on our efforts.
I wonder what life would be like if God prevaricated. We are God’s hands, arms, and voice to those in need. Do we really want to help make a difference?