I plugged in the responses to those questions as they occurred to me. My impression is that from moment to moment, practice is good for oneself and good for others. Whatever I hold onto, I'll never be able to keep forever. Whatever I give up, if giving it up is beneficial for myself or others, then it's not really a sacrifice. Whenever I think it's a sacrifice, that's when I need to give it up.
The entire sutta above is incredibly inspiring. It goes all the way from the beginning to the end. I think it's fascinating that it's possible to get stuck right at the beginning, right at "conscience & concern," and that the Buddha cautioned even his disciples not to stop there, not to be content with that. To me that suggests that even the very beginning, having conscience & concern, is a kind of attainment that one might mistake for the goal.
And then it goes on from there.