If we think Jesus was never irritable or bad tempered, we haven’t been paying attention.

This week we have the story of him entering the Jerusalem temple and driving out animals and moneymen with a home-made whip. One of the courtyards had been taken over by traders who were cashing in on the market for sacrifices. Sheep for Passover meals must be yearlings in perfect condition, paid for with the temple’s own silver coins. It had become a racket in the name of religion. Jesus’ indignation was aroused because this courtyard was intended for pilgrims and visitors from anywhere in the world, regardless of race, faith, or gender. His Father’s house was to be a place of prayer, not a pop-up auction mart for organised crime.

Three weeks into Lent is a good time to check our triggers: what makes us impatient, indignant, or angry. We might be offended by someone’s rudeness, bad habits, or antisocial behaviour; but the faults we notice in others are often the things we dislike in ourselves. With Jesus, the triggers are different. His stomach churns when people suffer injustice, or exploitation, or have no one to help them. He sees red when our all-important relationship with God is sabotaged by busyness or trashed by trivia.

So, let’s check out our annoyances, grievances, and bursts of temper. They not only tell us a lot about ourselves but diagnose the very points at which we can invite God’s saving help.

Written by Andrew Knowles, of St George’s Church in Kendal.

To share an insight about how your faith impacts your view of things, please contact: faithviewpoint@gmail.com.