Sacrifice is a virtue that is often goes hand in hand with humility. But in the The Idiot it functions like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there are those whom sacrifice teaches how to tap into their inner reserves. On the other hand, there is nothing but incomprehension and hostility for those who sacrifice their whole being—an act that strikes us as borderline unbalanced. The novel doesn't seem to offer a non-problematic way of walking the fine line between useful abstaining and total self-annihilation.
Although what is stressed most about Jesus's life is his self-sacrifice, in The Idiot the characters who want to give themselves over to one cause are not held up as role models, but are instead looked at as wasteful or selfish.
Characters who sacrifice based on social or public pressure end up better off than those whose give something up because of an internal or emotional need.