I’m studying for my Writing class and need an explanation.

the question: Paul Tillich says that when we speak of God as loving we use our experience of love. Do you agree? If so, how might our experiences of hurt in personal relationships (i.e. an abusive parent) affect our understanding of God?

The students response: One thing that I have learned growing up in a church and continuing my relationship with God as an adult is that each person’s experiences and relationship is different. I agree that we draw upon on experiences when we speak about certain topics and especially about love. It is through the experiences I have had in my life with how God has shown me love that I know what love is like with other people. Finding meaning in the difficult times we experience has never been easy for me. I have found great comfort in the Peace and Love passage in Romans chapter 5:3-5. “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Understanding that we will find meaning in the hurt we experience through continuing to trust and glorify God we will be stronger and able to help more people. I firmly believe that meaning is behind everything, every hard experience I have had has always had a deeper meaning. God has shown me his love and patience and I have learned about perseverance and integrity in these moments. We will never fully understand God, but through out relationship we gain more knowledge and truth every day, even the difficult days.

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