Therefore, watch out for professional beggars who make the church rounds. When you recognize them and say no, they may cry and begin emotional manipulation plays. If you are not careful, you will change your no to a yes. Self-pity is a common reaction to no. Self-pity always pleases the ﬂesh of a person.
Roberts Liardon tells us that a third reason people do not say no is guilt. Often, people feel guilty at saying no, as if it were a dirty word or a bad word. It is so rarely used today that it sounds funny to our ears. I have learned to say no to people and go on about my business, not even thinking of the incident again. You have to learn to say no and walk away. You should not feel any guilt saying no when it should be said.
Roberts Liardon tells us that people motivated by mercy can be abused more than others because they ﬁnd it so hard to say no. However, more than most people, they need to learn to say it, go home, and not feel guilty. People will run you ragged if you do not stop them. Demons will run you crazy if you do not stop them.
Suppose a friend calls with free tickets to a basketball game on an afternoon when the Lord has called you to pray. You ﬁnd it so difﬁcult to say no that you say, “Well, let me think about it.” You know you should not go, but you waver and then give in and go. The next day you feel rotten because you know you should not have gone.
Even if you get the courage to call and cancel your plans, you feel guilty. What should have been a strong, positive no turned into a puny, miserable, guilty no. If you had said no in the ﬁrst place, there would have been no guilt. All of us have fallen into this trap at one time or another.