The Bible commands us to not think more highly of ourselves than we should, and Paul seemed to have masterd that. He had learned to be content regardless of the circumstances. He endured many hard trials and faced many foes, rejoicing all the while. The reason he could do so is because he viewed himself as the chief of sinner– how can you offend a man like that. The key to all this is our attitude toward the cross. A proper understanding of the person and work of Christ affects how we thing about everything.
Alfred Poirier wrote:” In light of God’s judgment and justification of the sinner in the cross of Christ, we can begin to discover how to deal with any and all criticism. By agreeing with God’s criticism of me in Christ’s cross, I can face any criticism man may lay against me. In other words, no one can criticize me more than the cross has.
If you thus know yourself as having been crucified with Christ, then you can respond to any criticism, even mistaken or hostile criticism, without bitterness, defensiveness, or blame shifting. Such responses typically exacerbate and intensify conflict, and lead to the rupture of relationships. You can learn to hear criticism as constructive and not condemnatory because God has justified you.”