"To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace and peace to you from God our Father." (Col. 1:2)

A lot of the frustration we experience in relationships (with coworkers, friends, significant others, etc.) is directly tied to our search for identity. If our identity comes from things like our romantic relationships, friendships, careers, achievements, appearance, bank accounts, or personality traits, then our identity is an ever-changing patchwork of other people's opinions. Consequently, we use and manipulate people who we think can give us what we need, and we crush people who get in our way. It is impossible to love and enjoy people while we are manipulating or crushing them. 

In the above quote, the apostle Paul is reminding these men and women that their most foundational identity is derivative of their relationship with God. They are "saints", or "called out ones", chosen by God for his good purposes to be worked out in their lives. More specifically, they are "brothers (and sisters)" in God's family. Their identity is found in the reality that God has adopted them into his family and chooses to treasure them as his own children forever. Since their foundational identity is rooted in God's love, they are free to love and enjoy other people. 

Where does your identity come from? 

How does that impact the way you interact with people?