As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
(Genesis 19:15-16 ESV)
But he lingered, a simple statement that has huge implications. I had never really paid much attention to this statement in the story of Lot because I always remembered the outcome of him coming out on the other side okay. But what I failed to recognize in that statement is that in lingering over the situation it shows that Lot himself was slow to grasp the seriousness of the situation.
Thankfully in the case of Lot, although he lingered, the Lord still showed mercy to him and his family. But this got me thinking about how many of us linger over things in our lives, specifically temptations and sins. I would say that it is only by the grace and mercy of the Lord that we ever escape those, but in lingering we too are failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation of sin in our lives.
In regards to temptations and lingering, the longer one lingers then you are that much closer to go from lingering to sinning. An example of this that is often seen in the life of men is a beautiful woman walks by and in that moment if a man is faced with the temptation to lust after her he is much more likely to do so if he lingers as he looks at her and decides. Instead the better choice in that moment is to abide in Christ and turn from the lingering of your mind, therefore suppressing that temptation and sin in your life through Christ.
So lingering is almost always failing to recognize the seriousness of the situation.