This is an amazing story of forgiveness, without waiting for the apology. In 2007 Simon Cowell, of American Idol, delivered a crushing blow of criticism to gospel singer Mandisa, regarding her weight. He apologized after she had already forgiven him. It was not easy, but it was also not of her own strength. You see, that’s what the power of God’s love and peace does for us; it gives us the strength to carry on, even in our lowest valley. This is inspirational beyond words.
“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
CBN.com – Her soulful sound and winning smile not only captured the hearts of America but the judges on American Idol too. But it wasn’t just Mandisa’s singing that made a statement when she appeared on the fifth season of the hit show.
American Idol host Simon Cowell commented on the singer’s size saying, “Do we have a bigger stage this year?”
“It was my worst fear come true,” says Mandisa, “because it’s been the biggest struggle of my life and because it’s something I feel so vulnerable about. For him to have said that and for it to air on national television — I was devastated. After the show was over, just a bunch of my friends gathered around me and they began to pray for me. They began to pray for Simon. They asked the Lord to have mercy on him, and they began to ask the Lord to help me to forgive Simon. I realized in that moment that this was about so much more than me and my hurt feelings.”
Mandisa began to realize that this was an opportunity for her to glorify God.
“It’s funny, because the producers were setting me up,” she remembers. “As soon as we got there, we were all in a room, and the producers said, ‘This episode is all about reaction.’ Then the producers looked directly at me and said, ‘If Simon says something mean about you, you tell him off. You let him have it.’ They know that you’re going to tell them off, so you just say whatever you want to and we can bleep out anything that is not TV friendly. I just thought, ‘Oh, trust me. I’ve got some words for him.’ It’s not what they expected, but I did it because it was what the Lord wanted me to do.”
“You hurt me,” she said to Simon on that show. “It was painful. It really was. But I want you to know that I have forgiven you. You don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figured that if Jesus could die so that all of my sins could be forgiven, I could certainly extend that same grace to you.”
Simon said he was humbled and gave Mandisa a hug.
“I knew telling him that I forgave him would kind of disarm him, if you will, and that he would be graced. I didn’t know if he had ever felt that before,” says Mandisa. Read more here.