But this precious treasure – this light and power that now shine within us – is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7
I feel like one of those drug ads:
Okay, here's your life…
And here's your life on sin…
I often try to imagine what I will be like without sin. I believe that in the next world, people will still be very uniquely gifted with total individual personalities that are dimly reflected by who we are now. So in other words, my glorified state will still be me—extremely me—only without the sin.
What do I, Julie Ferwerda, look like without the sin? The lines are so blurred, the sin and selfishness so permeating into every area of my life, I cannot fathom what I would possibly be like without sin. It's like, if you take away the sin, what's left?
For instance, I personally believe God made humans to be competitive and that's a good thing at some level. I happen to have a very competitive streak. But what would my competitive nature look like without say, trying to win at any cost, or without getting mad when I'm losing or playing badly, especially when playing games with my family or competing in sports I'm good at?
By nature, I can be a very playful, silly, and daring person. What would my playful nature look like without being annoying and sometimes mischievous? As the baby of the family, I'm not sure if this is just a ploy to get attention from others. But sometimes I really enjoy bugging my family just for the sake of bugging. I still wonder if this is at some underlying point a good and sinless part of me—will I still be playful in the new world?
What would my focused nature look like without sinful self-importance? I can become so focused on my work and my projects, that interruptions from my family are not handled with patience, love, and a servant's heart. Like sometimes my techy husband wants to show me little tips to increase my productivity right when I'm in the middle of something (as a focused person, I'm always in the middle of something). By my attitude, you'd think he wants to show me how to reformat my hard drive. Or if he wants a favor when I'm into my schedule, I act put out. It's hard to balance the maintaining of focus while prioritizing the needs, requests, and even whims of others.
Okay, while I'm on a roll, let's pull out the territorial card. By nature, I love my space, my stuff, and my schedule. I'm not a free-for-all-live-in-a-commune-type-hippie like my college roommate who had no concept of boundaries. If it was in our room, it was fair game. I'd pass her on the way to her classes wearing my clothes. I'd go to get one of my snacks out of the fridge and it would already be history. While it totally bugged me, I can't see how my attitude about this is anything but selfish. I can't imagine Jesus saying, "Hey Peter, put down the brownie—that's mine!" Or "Thomas, what are you doing wearing my sandals again?" But still, I can't imagine not being this way because I love the order and privacy of my own space. How would this all fit into a new world of selflessness where possibly there is a much more community spirit?
Of course we can't ignore the matters of overindulgence. No matter what the permissible pleasure in the next life, I cannot imagine being free from my fleshly tendency toward sinful overindulgence.
To be honest, the thought of being completely selfless and others-centered sounds like so much work, but I know that in God's economy, things are usually the opposite of what they seem. Because of that, I'm very curious and excited to find out just who I really am without all this sin and self constantly weighing me down.
I think in fact, the "real me" has been totally locked away in bondage to self all my life, and when I finally shed the hard cocoon of my self-protective, self-centered exterior, I will morph into quite a character full of more amazing personality, energy, unique gifts, and freedom. I will be more the real me than I ever imagined.