When Choosing a Career, Be Financially Realistic
- 2007 10 May
GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)--Most people don't work three or four jobs, but many police officers do.
"I know none of you got into police work for the money," said Mike Cosgrove, a financial adviser with Crown Financial Ministries, told 80 police officers, spouses and guests attending a Western Law Enforcement Summit at LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center near Santa Fe, N.M.
"You were called to it."
The extra jobs bring in extra money, but there is a cost -- reduced family time, added stress and fatigue.
"There comes that time when you have to look up and ask yourself if this is the best use of your time and energy," Cosgrove said.
Since police officers rarely make large salaries, budgeting and getting out/staying out of debt is crucial, he said, noting: "If you are in debt, there is hope."
Cosgrove listed five steps toward financial hope:
1) Seek God's intervention through repentance.
2) Establish the right balance: God, spouse, children, work and ministry.
3) Faithfully commit to your journey to financial freedom.
4) Avoid careless spending.
5) Generate excess cash through reduced spending, extra income, evaluating assets or selling things.
Cosgrove defined true financial freedom as "the freedom from the bondage of debts, oppression of others, envy, greed or resentfulness and the freedom to respond without hesitation to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. In short, true financial freedom is the freedom to fulfill the purpose for which God has you here on earth."
Cosgrove exhorted the audience, "Commit your financial life to Him and seek a lifestyle of obedience."
Paul Gilbreath, commander of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Area 4 in Dallas, and pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church in Lancaster, Texas, voiced proof that it is possible to get out of debt and gain financial freedom.
"When I became a cop, I had to buy my own gear," Gilbreath recounted at the April 3-6 conference. "It was expensive, but I learned quickly that I could buy all this stuff and put it on credit. I was a cop. People trusted me.
"The debt kept building and I couldn't keep up. I was working two, three, sometimes four jobs. My wife was a nurse, but even with her salary, we couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Gilbreath ultimately piled up $68,000 in credit card debt. "That's when my wife left me and the debt. There was no place for me to go except on my knees to the Lord and beg Him to help me."
Gilbreath found a company that helped him develop a workable budget and establish a plan to pay off his debts.
"It wasn't easy and it took years," he said, "but I stand here today as someone totally out of debt. It can be done."
Originally posted September 2007.
(c) 2007 Baptist Press. Used with permission. All rights reserved.