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Will an office crush ruin my life?

Q. I have developed a completely inappropriate crush on my new boss. He’s married, so I know he’s off limits. How do I deal with my feelings without causing problems at my job?

A. Feelings of attraction are commonplace and we all sometimes experience unruly desires. Sometimes the best way to conquer an inappropriate desire is to ask yourself – What it would be like if it were fulfilled?

So go ahead and imagine for 10 minutes. Wonder and rehearse in your mind.

Your boss detects your feelings and responds positively. Fun flirting escalates. You both enjoy it. Months later you both definitely cross the “off limits” line. The logical fulfillment of your crush is realized.

How do you feel? Are you happy? Proud of yourself? Do you feel ennobled?

Now imagine that your boss’ wife and children visit the office. He greets her with a kiss and fusses over their children. She beams, and while hustling the kids off, says, “See you at Sarah’s softball game, honey.”

He glances quickly at you, turns down his eyes and returns to his office, closing the door.

How do you feel now? Write down your feelings.

Continue to imagine any number of scenarios:

• Your boss turns cold toward you, acting in an icy and distant manner.

• He confides that he wants to be with you, but he can’t leave his wife ... just yet.

• Etc.

The outcomes are innumerable, but the point is the same. The end of desire reveals the true nature of each desire.

Is your crush just “inappropriate” or could it be exceedingly dangerous? And if conceived, would the results bring you and others genuine happiness?

Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. And desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

You’re obviously smart enough to know what’s off-limits in action, so do the same with your heart. Guard your heart with all vigilance for from it flows the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

It’s time to secure your heart.

First, let your feelings follow the facts. With a sense of humor and faith, let your adult mind take over.

Second, recognize the potential gravity of your desire. Your infatuation is with another woman’s husband. This is a path to sin.

Third, make the most of your error. Confess your emotional indulgence to the Lord, seek his grace in confession, and come out stronger, better and freer.

Fourth, renew your mind with the truth. The temptation will likely re-emerge. Nip it in the bud by living an examined life.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Finally and always, draw near to God and he will draw near to you. (James 4:8 )