What I mean is our motivations for anything, especially "altruism" or "self-sacrifice," are always complex, partly obscure, and subject to endless reinterpretations.
To illustrate: many parents, including those whom their children may consider as "abusive" or "selfish," will always talk about how they sacrificed themselves for their children. And they certainly did so in many ways. But why they did so as they did it is open to question. Love is an easy answer, but (as the Bible says) it may cover a lot of other things.
I don't see any reason why religious talk on self-sacrifice or suffering, and the logical rationalisations it offers, should be above the same interrogations.
Edit: this reminds me of an old thread of mine... http://www.jehovahs-witness.com/6/63761/1.ashx