Christian gospel singer Mandisa chose not to attend the 56th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, where she was awarded both best contemporary Christian music song and best contemporary Christian music album. She wrote a post on her Facebook page entitled "I missed the Grammy Awards...and I won?!?" explaining her desire to avoid the temptation to be "of the world."
Mandisa Hundley was nowhere in sight when her name was called for best Christian song and album at the Grammy Awards this year; "I was rockin' some purple sweats, sitting in front of my computer, watching the live stream online," the singer says. Mandisa had several reasons for not attending Sunday's awards ceremony, the first of which is the busy travel schedule that she has scheduled in the upcoming months. Although she was honored to be nominated, Mandisa had been recognized more than once and had never won a Grammy. She was shocked when the announcer called her name, and started crying almost immediately - "I could not believe it!" she says.
The Grammy winner says she also wanted to avoid criticism from those who might analyze her wardrobe and sense of fashion on the red carpet. "I've been on the receiving end of such mean comments ... recent events have left me feeling insecure about such things these days," she says. The singer recently posted that she had been feeling distant from the Lord and was suffering from emotional depression (of which she says she is "finally fed up with" and is beginning to "let God shine His light down" on her). Mandisa is taking steps to spend more intentional time with the Lord in His word, and encouraged friends and fans to join her in a Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study.
Mandisa also decided not to attend the 56th Annual Grammy Awards because of the live performances that she had seen in years past - "I fast forwarded through several performances this year," she says. The singer explains that she is trying to stay away from temptations of pride, "the alluring pull of the flesh," and selfishness - and that these things have reared their heads recently.
She quoted from 1 John 2:15-16:
"Don't fall in love with this corrupt world or worship the things it can offer. Those who love its corrupt ways don't have the Father's love living within them. All the things the world can offer to you-the allure of pleasure, the passion to have things, and the pompous sense of superiority-do not come from the Father..." (The Voice).
"I knew that submerging myself into an environment that celebrates those things was risky for me at this time," Mandisa says - "I am taking steps to renew my mind to become the Heavenly Father-centered, completely satisfied with Jesus, and Holy-Spirit-led woman I felt I was a few months ago."
Although she feels that it was wise for her to stay at home this year, she is not advocating that Christians isolate themselves from the secular world. "God never taught us to stay in our safe Christian bubbles, completely separating from those who do not share our faith," the gospel singer said, citing 1 Corinthians 5 and John 15:19 where God calls His people to be in the world and not of it. "We must live, look, and speak differently [than the world] so that we shine," she says.
Mandisa says she would consider attending the Grammy Awards in the future if she were to ever be nominated again. "I recognize that I may feel a bit like an alien in a strange land," she says - "but Jesus, Friend of sinners, felt that way and still managed to shine."
The gospel singer is incredibly thankful for the awards that she received on Sunday. "While this affirmation feels unbelievable," she says, "I lay this trophy at the feet of my Jesus in humility, honor and gratitude for all He has done in, to, and through me."