Pride is too deeply woven into our DNA, so we look to Christ, the eternally glorious Son of God who took on humanity to slay death by His death. No great humility has ever been shown, and no greater exaltation will ever be known. We now find the greatest honor in submitting ourselves to His Lordship, in laying our lives and selves at His feet to be used as He sees fit.
One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
Proverbs 29:23 ESV
We only need to survey the culture around us to find evidence that the first half of this proverb is true. Secularized individuals (I say this instead of secularists simply because many people would certainly not call themselves secularists yet have nonetheless been thoroughly secularized, which is what has happened to liberal Christianity) are certainly those most supportive of celebrating pride as though it were a virtue. This is the same demographic that evidently faces the sharpest battle against despair. These two facts are related by causation not mere correlation.
No amount of affirmation and applause can change reality, both around us and within us. Like Lucifer, our greatest attempts at self-exaltation will always result in being cast down into the pit. Despair is the inevitable end (unless perhaps we can grip delusion tight enough) of worshiping ourselves as the embodiment of perfection and then discovering firsthand how pathetic deities we are. The exalted will certainly be brought low.
Yet the humble, said Jesus, will be exalted. That is, the “lowly in spirit will obtain honor.”