Jesus says it’s better to live a truly humble life and be honored unexpectedly. He gives a promse: Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. You could say it this way: the proud are humbled, the humble are exalted.

The problem for us is that our pride comes too easily to us. Really, if you think about it, all the pain we endure in life is because of our pride. We get upset when things don’t go our way. How impatient do you get when you’re stuck in traffic or standing in line? How about when someone can’t make a decision in the amount of time you think they should? Or what about the arguments you recently had with a spouse or a friend because they weren’t seeing things your way, or doing something the way you thought it should be done? We get sad because life isn’t going the way we wanted it to go.

And what does this pride accomplish? Nothing but damage. Our arguments, our bitterness, our resentment it hurts other people. Who wants to live in a house with someone who has to have their way all the time? Who wants to be a friend with someone who is just bitter with life?

Listen to Jesus’ words carefully, “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.” God is telling you that your pride, your arrogance, will be the source of your own downfall. That’s because pride pushes God out of the picture as you put yourself in the position of honor and take the highest seat. Then you might as well chisel a stone image of yourself and bow down to it, because that’s what this amounts to: idolatry. And you know that no idolater has eternal life. And that is what pride makes us.

Humility hurts. We need it to. I need it to. Because left to myself I become this petty, selfish monster with nothing to look forward to but eternity in hell. Let’s repent, huh? Let’s turn away from “me” and turn back to God. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about him. You see when God humbles us with the threat of hell, when we truly believe that, then we can listen to the better message, the message that God wants us to know and have in our hearts: that he is our Savior.

Christ is the Savior. He didn’t come to be served, but to serve. Christ’s whole life was a life of promoting God, not himself. It was a life of pointing people not to their own works, but the work God was doing on their behalf. Christ lived the life of humility in your place. For every prideful argument, for every selfish offering, Christ was completely humble. Christ served you not by scrambling for the seat of honor like the rest, but by being taken to a cross. And there his life became your life. His death became your death. His payment is your payment. And you are forgiven.

So leave yourself behind and trust in Christ. Life is not about you. Despite what every other person of this world is trying to tell you—it’s not about you. It’s about Christ. And what a good thing that is for you. Because what Christ did for you saves you from your pride which would only destroy you forever in hell.