‘Attack Your Lack,’ pastor says

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Kathy Chaffin
At the first in a series of sermons on “Attack Your Lack: Changing the Economics of Your Life,” Pastor Bill Godair Jr. admitted he defaulted on his very first loan for $500 back in the 70s.
“So I’m not standing here as one who has never made mistakes,” he told the 100-plus people gathered at Cornerstone Church last Wednesday night. “You know my life story ó raised in the projects, raised on food stamps, all that kind of stuff.”
Godair, however, was able to break out of what he described as “generational lack.” And today, he and his wife, Tina, head up a ministry that employs 63 people. That number will grow to 75 or 80, he said, when Cornerstone’s fourth day-care center opens in Spencer next month.
When he and his wife went to the bank to get a loan for it, Godair said they were told that no one was loaning money these days. They just sat there, he said, and the banker finally said, “But if we don’t give it to you, I know someone else will.”
For people who have positioned themselves, he said, “this is the time for you to make those acquisitions that you have prepared for because you’ll probably never find a better time to buy than right now.”
When the movie “The Bucket List” came out, Godair said he thought about his own list of things he wanted to do before he “kicked the bucket.” He decided to buy a Hummer.
Godair found a 2006 model he liked for $39,000. About that time, however, gas prices skyrocketed, and he decided to hold off on buying it.
“But because I kept myself positioned,” he said, “six months later, I bought the same vehicle for half price.”
Poverty is based on three things, Godair said: mismanagement, entitlement and victimization. “These three things will bring you into and hold you in lack.”
Addressing mismanagement first, he said, “The Bible plainly teaches us if you mismanage what you have, God doesn’t have to give you any more.”
It’s important to take care of what you already have, he said, and to keep spending under control.
“Every time a new cell phone comes out, you’ve got to buy it,” Godair said. “We are suckers, folks … We don’t have to have the newest of everything. We don’t. We have to learn to make good, logical decisions.”
Leaving lights on or turning the heat up when the windows are open is another way of mismanaging money, he said.
“Some people don’t like money the way I like money,” he said. “I don’t like giving any more to Duke Power than I have to.”
Godair said the entitlement mentality also holds people in lack. “You can walk around all your life thinking that everybody owes you something and get nowhere,” he said.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘You don’t know that I’ve been through,’ ” Godair said.
People have a choice, he said, to spend their whole lives thinking that somebody owes them or change their mentality and go after what they want themselves.
Godair said living on food stamps was never meant to become a lifestyle. Food stamps are meant “to help in times like we’re in right now.”
Some people are in poverty because they’ve been victimized, Godair said, but that doesn’t mean they have to remain victims.
His wife’s first husband left her and their children with more than $30,000 in debt. Today, he said her credit rating is 20 points higher than his.
Godair said he teaches couples in the church to handle finances together. “There’s always one person in the home who is better at finances than the other,” he said. That person “needs to take care of things, but the other person needs to be at the table.”
Life insurance is another way couples can make sure one of them doesn’t end up a victim.
“It doesn’t cost you that much money,” he said. “It costs you more not to have it. I’m tired of taking up an offering every time somebody dies.”
Godair also offered people in the congregation the following pointers on changing their economics:
– “I can change my economic position. I can change. Every one of us can change.
– “Money has no goodness or badness of its own. Money must borrow its goodness or badness from the one who possesses it.
– “Abundance begins with control, and tithing gives you control.
– “I will tell money where it is going and stop asking where it has been.
– “Budgeting tells my money what it’s going to do.
– “Situational lack if not dealt with properly turns into generational lack.
– “Borrowing is not evil if you’re borrowing to make money. Borrowing is bad when you borrow for depreciating items, something that is worth less when you get it home than when you just bought it at the store …
“If you don’t have the cash to pay for a couch, then get you two buckets and a board.
– “A house is a good investment.
– “Debt comes from having to have it now. Are you hearing me? There is nothing that you have to have right now. If you had to have it right now, you couldn’t have lived yesterday.
– “Poor people cash their checks. That’s why they’re always broke. Checks aren’t supposed to be cashed. They’re supposed to be deposited.
“You don’t see those little check-cashing stores in wealthy neighborhoods with the big signs right next to the liquor store that’s right next to Rent-A-Center that’s right next to the lotto store. One-stop shopping, guaranteed to leave you living in lack the rest of your life.”
Though the economic downturn is causing problems for people, Godair said it also brings opportunities.
“The wealth of the ungodly, the Bible says, is laid up for the righteous,” he said. “Money is changing hands.
“I challenge you to find out how many millionaires were made in this great country during the Great Depression. Even during the Great Depression, millionaires were being made, and guess what, millionaires are being made today.”
As for the current recession, Godair said it’s nothing like the Great Depression, when 30 percent of the country’s workers were laid off.
“They stood in line for four and five hours for a bowl of soup … Here, the only line you’re going to see for four or five hours in Salisbury Monday will be when the Olive Garden opens, and people will get a salad with their soup.
“Go to every restaurant in town, and you’ve got to wait. Don’t let these politicians and news people mess you up. They can make you think it’s over.
“It ain’t over until the trumpet sounds.”
Pastor Bill Godair Jr. will continue his “Attack Your Lack” series for the next three to four Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at Cornerstone Church, located at 315 Webb Road.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.