A few times in my life I have met some people who like to “encourage” me to not make a martyr of myself. It always appeared to be a novel thing to say, so I could not help but wonder where this concept has come from. After doing some research I came to discover that modern psychology appears to have a disdain for the human capability of martyrdom. At first impression, the motivations that drive such an ethos which inspire someone to not fear the loss of their life for the sake of some sacred principle seem primitive. In my experience, it is anything but.
There is something in common with all people who have said such things to me. Generally, they are fully engaged, enraptured, and comfortable within this world system. Their commentary sounds like a defense mechanism to make their own meaningless life somehow mean something. Take this guy from the article below for example… (google has a long list of articles like these for an explanation)
Martyrdom the Worst Idea Ever – I will sum it all up for you in his article in case you do not read it. It says something like this. Martyrs have a victimhood complex (because nothing they believe is true). Also, Christians are anti-semitic, so there. A typical claptrap psychological perspective. I’m sure there is something else he said, maybe something meaningful but I digress.
Maybe most Psychology is merely the Atheistic Jewish community wrapping themselves up into knots to find a reason to avoid the conviction of sin, morality, and the recognition of Jesus Christ as the Messiah of the World.
There are some major errors in extrapolating all “types” of martyr behavior as one of victimhood. Certainly, there can be cases of sympathy-seeking martyrdom, but this by no means erases the powerful examples through history of such human behavior as being the very highest form of understanding.
True martyrdom comes from a place of transcendence. Just like a parent of a child would risk their lives to protect them from mortal danger. Or a soldier in a war would sacrifice their own lives to save the life of their best friend. You see the point, I could go on and on.
Martyrdom is best correlated with Agape Love. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13.
Agape love is a form of transcending the illusionary nature of the physical plane in a redemptive submission to the true reality of eternal love. It is a demonstrative provocation; inviting the violent persecutor about to take someone’s life to see a greater reality that is unrestrained by fear. It is such a submission of love that a person is willing to lose their own life, for the chance that the other may discover their own for the very first time.
If we approach life from the narrow perspective of the human bodily ego. Of course, everything the above author argues would be correct. Of course, nothing else would matter but the persistence of this human life. That is why I say that there are no cowards found in the land of martyrdom. Many world-based people could never conceive of the absolute nature of reality that God can instill into those who believe in him. Since they have possibly never actually placed their lives into the hands of God, he honors their free will to have reality reinforced to them in the way that they believe (now that is an interesting concept).
And on her forehead a mysterious name was written: BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I could see that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and witnesses for Jesus. And I was utterly amazed at the sight of her.
So if you are a believer and you may be looking for someone to help you through the trials and tribulations that accompany martyrdom. I will do my best to offer you the wisdom that I have found in my own sufferings for the sake of the kingdom.
Proverbs 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
It may not always be clear what blessings we receive by helping others by sacrificing some of our earthly desires for sake of another’s. In my experience though we may be down on our luck as a result of such generosity that God will not abandon if we also share in that poverty.
Some of the very best lessons I have learned about money have been learned by giving up the opportunity for life-changing wealth in exchange for the betterment of someone I loved. If that opportunity for wealth is ever returned again, it will only be because of God’s generosity and not of my own pride. To have never earned that wealth because of my own craftiness allowed me to gain a deep humility within me. It is different to lose a lot of money out of stupidity compared to giving it up out of generosity. Make no mistake I have had some heated conversations with God about such things, but what I gained compared to what I gave is immeasurable.
The above things are just passing. The game of money ends at the end of our lives. The game of love goes with us wherever that may be.
Now to address the most important part. From the worldly perspective, all martyr characteristics would be coming from an egoic footing. This is something that we must be on guard for. For we by nature are susceptible to such things as egoic traps. This is why we must always be sensitive to God’s Spirit to guide us into and through any burdens, we may encounter for the Kingdom of God’s sake. To be accepting of correction when his Spirit implores us that we are pursuing certain endeavors in our own will rather than his own is very important. Knowing the difference requires prayer, reflection, and acceptance of his will. Even if we fear that if we do not help someone that the worst could happen. You can trust him if he says he will take care of them…
This is something that is not always easy to do, we can easily assume God wants something to be a certain way. When in actuality he has another reason for it. Think of someone who is sick and God is using that as a way to change their character. If they were to be healed without a coherent change of character, they very well could be missing a huge opportunity to grow. So who are we to disagree with God’s will for a person even if it appears that he is not taking away their suffering?
Finally, when you are walking out according to how God has directed you. Do not be surprised when you face adversity. The Devil will chasten you with “normal” adversities, the types which give psychologists in their ivory towers the privilege of telling you that you have a martyrdom complex.
When none of the elemental challenges deter you and you submit with humility to God with your suffering. The Devil may then begin to send you those situations that scare the crap out of you, the weird situations that no one can believe. It is in these conditions that you will experience even greater isolation. This type of isolation is all but impossible for other humans to understand and help affirm your reality.
Personally, I regret talking about such things to some people who I thought I could trust. The fact is that some people may never have gone as far as you have in your trust in the Lord. Therefore you must be very careful to seek out mature Christian believers who would be more likely to have experienced the Devil as being real. Just because someone is a counselor does not mean they have the capabilities to advise you with wisdom about some of these more serious aspects of the Christian faith.
This is in part why I write this, to affirm your experiences if this is where you find yourself. Still, you must bring these things before God and be patient in the processing as troubling as these experiences may be. For there are some things where Jesus is the only individual who can relieve you from the burden of the cost of your sacrificial agape heart.
This is written post-2022 just as the whole populace is recognizing that the covid 19 vaccines are poisonous. Where God was motivating me through 2020 to warn people that they are bad for people and suffering social exclusion as a result… I’m sure glad that I did decide to sacrifice my own well-being for the sake of others.
Jesus Christ is the Messiah, God Bless.