These 2 white oaks (the 2 large trees on either side of the hiking trail.) are almost the same size in circumference. The one on the right is 92 7/8" and the one on the left is 89 1/8". The one on the right is healthier and I propose it will grow at a faster rate than the one on left. Why?
Look at a close up of the bark of the White oak on the left. The bark has remained in a more juvinle state because of the growth on the bark.
The bark is the protection of the tree.
It is the same in our life with Christ. If we protect ourselves from the influences of the world we will grow much faster than if we fail to protect.
And how can we protect ourselves spiritually? Guard your mind!
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."