It’s interesting, I think, to compare the mechanics of “real life” to the mechanics of different kinds of games. In other words, to look at life as if it were a strategy game.
Now, I’m a fan of turn-based strategy games – TBSs, from here on out. But they are, I will admit, somewhat unrealistic. Life is not like a TBS, but rather like an RTS – a real-time strategy game. If life were like a TBS along the lines of chess, we would have infinite time to consider the possible outcomes of our actions. Presuming that we would still have both free will and intellect, then all possible outcomes of our moves could be considered, and we would choose the best one. That would mean we could not do things we would later regret, and would be more like angels than men. We would still have free will, but in a form much different than what we currently experience as free will. I imagine this is the kind of free will angels have.
Though, do angels have absolute knowledge? I could imagine a TBS where you did not have absolute knowledge yet it was deterministic – say, Dark Chess, i.e. chess with fog-of-war. Is the angelic point of view more like that than like chess itself? (I’m fairly certain that angelic life wouldn’t have an element of chance, like, say, Wesnoth does. Angels don’t play dice, I would guess.)
As it is, human life is more like an RTS – it doesn’t wait for us to make our decisions, it moves on with or without our consent. This is one of the implications of being physical as well as spiritual beings. It’s funny how often we forget it, though; there is I think a tendency to approach life as if it were a sequence of decisions to make rather than continuous motion.