Does it feel better to say I sacrificed something, or does it feel better to say that I gave something? That's a very important question for me to ask myself.
Martyrdom in this life is frequently an attitude of sacrificing for the sake of a reward. Delayed gratification. When done among my neighbors, it is about expecting that someone notices and gives me a pat on the back, a little leeway, a leg up. When done from a spiritual perspective, maybe I expect some special reward, an extra gold star.
Spirit loves me no matter what, unconditionally, and holds me in grace. What more can I expect? Reward implies that there could possibly be limitations in God's presence.
What if there is no delay? What if the service is the reward? What if we are getting more reward from the act than what we are giving up or sacrificing?
In the recent release "Well Being", it has been researched and discovered that people feel better about their lives when they spend money on others instead of themselves. (Shopping therapy isn't as effective as giving.) People who volunteer feel much better.
"There is nothing BUT self-interest. The only thing that changes is the definition of Self."
Self can be the bottom of Maslow's pyramid. Self can be our highest good. Self can be the God-centered part of us that is only too happy to be realized through service. Self can begin to encompass our fellow man, and the planet.
At that level of Self-interest, it might not feel like a sacrifice. Maybe it feels like love expressing. What is the other word for Love?