Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
The pre-salvation version of myself was pretty proud. I considered myself to have high standards even about the most trivial of things, and I always needed for people see me a certain way. I spent a lot of time justifying that attitude as a young adult by explaining how little I had as a child and how insignificant I had felt growing up. What I was saying was that my humble past really gave me the right to finally be proud. Even when that pride was merely an illusion, just a facade used to keep people at bay, it was still haughty. Whether used as a wall to keep people out or as a way to keep people down, my pride was not something that could stick around if I wanted Jesus in my life. It only served to elevate me to a place I was not designed to occupy.
It is often the case that we confuse pride and a healthy self-esteem. God does not want us to be self-deprecating or to have negative opinions of ourselves. We should see ourselves the way He sees us, which is as his valuable creation made for great purposes. We should love ourselves and each other the way He loves us. We must be careful, however, that our view of ourselves does not get distorted and inflated. Yes, Christ came and died for us, but that was done out of love and not because we are so great to deserve that kind of mercy. Seeing ourselves in the right light and having the humility that God requires is not some disservice to us. It really is about mirroring the humility Christ carried when He died on that cross.
We see how lowly God allowed himself to become for our benefit, and we must recognize that we certainly are no better than He. We also know that each of us is no better than our brother or sister. If we want to serve the kingdom of God, we must forget about serving ourselves. If we have a me-me-me mentality, then we will not be able to play our role in the Church body as God has designed. The only way we can fill that role is to allow ourselves to occupy the space at the bottom and prop up those above us. Father, do what is necessary to strip us of our pride and create in us the humility we need to serve You in your kingdom.