Why is it so difficult to change? Let’s say someone from church convinces us that anger is not good for us. We agree to not get angry for any reason. Yet no matter how much we resist, when annoyance appears, our anger appears. We apologize to God and promise not to get angry again, yet we continue to fail to keep our promises. We make excuses that if it wasn’t for our annoyances, like our coworkers, spouses, or strangers, we would be able to keep our pledges to God. We all have habits or inclinations of thoughts that are difficult to eliminate from our minds. It is for this reason that just by declaring to God that we have changed is not enough. We must prove our declaration by conquering whatever sufferings or temptations are placed in front of us. But what or who is it that places these inconveniences or temptations? Many will say that it is God or even Satan that places these obstacles in front of us to prove ourselves.
The Tenrikyo religion, believes it is our own soul/heart that places these obstacles to purify our minds. God wants us to purify our minds of evil thoughts. These thoughts are greed, arrogance, self-love, miserliness, and covetousness. God says that there are paths of these thoughts, and they all lead to sufferings or temptations. It is for this reason that God tells us not to act upon these thoughts, when our own soul distributes these temptation or sufferings that we have initiated with our previous actions. We can begin to purify our minds if we can resist acting on our evil thoughts when inconveniences occur in our lives. If we understand these annoyances or obstacles as opportunities to purify our minds, then we can resist acting upon them.