I am not a fan of the popular television show American Idol, and have only seen a couple of the episodes. However, fan or not, you would need to be a complete hermit to not know what American Idol is.
One of the facts about the show is the candid, some would say mean-spirited, remarks and criticism hurled upon the contestants by Simon. One particular victim of Simon’s sense of humor and personality was a contestant named Mandisa. The remarks were directed at her physical size, as she is a larger woman. Naturally these remarks were very hurtful to Mandisa and she admitted that she was brought to tears by the comments of Simon.
The natural response to an attack and insult on our personhood is to put up our defense by going on the offense and lashing out our pain and anger on the Simon’s of this world. I know this is what I naturally want to do when someone does something that angers me or hurts my feelings. I must get even! Get revenge! No, not just get even and get revenge but hurt them worse than they hurt me. That will teach them a lesson… “They messed with the wrong person this time” is what I think.
But Mandisa showed the world what it means to have experienced grace and what it means to extend that same grace. Instead of unleashing a verbal assault, or worse, on Simon she said something to the effect of…
“I’ve forgiven you. You don’t need someone to apologize to offer them forgiveness. If Jesus Christ could die for my sins then I can extend that same grace to you.”
Simon responded by admitting that he was humbled. And we have learned a lesson that vengeance, hatred, defensiveness, etc… does not make right of the wrongs done to us in life. Grace, the extension of the same grace God has shown us in Jesus Christ, rights the wrongs of this world. And I am sure that Mandisa, out of her willingness to forgive and unconditionally extend grace to Simon, is at peace for doing so.