Jesus: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear ... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6, Do Not Worry)

Paul: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat. We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat." (Thessalonians 3)

  • Are you asking how a specific group harmonizes these passages? There may be a few or several possibilities. Aug 15, 2019 at 17:32
  • I think you need to explain what 'harmonize' means and explain what, exactly, it is that needs to 'be harmonized'. I can't see a problem, myself.
    – Nigel J
    Aug 16, 2019 at 8:49

1 Answer 1


Both Jesus and Paul taught that we should love our neighbor. Paul was addressing a situation where the church had been generous in providing welfare for the needy, but those needy took advantage of this generosity and were becoming lazy and a burden to others. In Galatians 6, Paul says "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." We each of us go through seasons when we need others to help us, but we need to not be selfish and eventually resume responsibility for taking care of our own needs.

In 1 Timothy 5, Paul teaches families the same thing, insisting that before the church steps in, all family resources should be exhausted first:

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Essentially, this was the first means-tested welfare program.

  • @Gregory: Expanding on Paul's answer, Matt 6 is about trusting God for those who have already worked hard but who may still lacking in their daily need. But 2 Thess 3 is about those who have NOT worked hard enough because they took advantage of the "welfare program". So 2 completely different situations. Aug 16, 2019 at 0:32

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