Hannes’ Complacency

Throughout the entirety of my Christian life, there has been one thing that holds me back more than any other. One thing that I fear one day will spell some sort of enormous failure in my spiritual walk. That thing is complacency.

Maybe that’s why I felt more sympathy and compassion for Hannes and his initial actions in Attack on Titan than disgust. At the time of the first attack, Hannes lived a life of complacency. He was a soldier, a defender of the wall, and a committed fighter against the titans. A complacent fighter, but committed nonetheless, if that makes sense. Clearly he believed in the fight against the titans as evidenced by his intention to go after them to “ settle a score.” However, when finally in the fray, he found himself…unprepared.

When we first meet Hannes, he’s drunk. Even though he and his comrades are supposed to be guarding the wall in case of an attack, they have been lulled into a false sense of security by peacetime and the monotony of guard duty.


He laughs off Eren’s scolding him for this, even making a joke that he is probably right about their unpreparedness. But he is, truthfully, convinced that things are pretty much under control and why make more effort than is necessary, right?

I feel like I do this so much in my own life. When things are bad, you better believe my nose is in that bible daily, but get things going pretty good and it’s easy for me to get distracted. I’ll put of reading tonight to watch this show, I haven’t prayed today but I’ll do it in a second, I stayed up late Saturday, I’ll sleep in and miss church this Sunday. I’ll go next Sunday. It’s fine. I’ll get spiritually fed tomorrow.

The bible is clear it is dangerous to adopt this attitude.

 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

– 1 Peter 5:8

I had a friend say to me very recently in small group, “I just want people to realize we’re in a war.” …And she’s right. I can’t continue to live my life forgetting where I am and what’s actually going on. I can’t act like nothing that big is ever going to come against me. Just because I can handle things right now on the bare minimum of spiritual food and training I sometimes subsist on doesn’t mean it will be enough for what I could face tomorrow.

It wasn’t enough for Hannes, although he thought it would be until the very moment he came face to face with a titan.

“Don’t go underestimating me Carla. I’m gonna slaughter these titans and save all three of you!”

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He had an idea of how he was going to act and what he was going to accomplish based on his personal experiences and his identity as a fighter. But, the damage of his complacency and lackadaisical approach to his responsibilities was too great.

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When actually faced with the situation he was supposed to be continuously preparing for, he could do little more than fearfully run away. The only thing he could do about the situation he was supposed to conquer after that was sobbingly apologize to Eren.

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That moment Hannes stared in the face of the titan made me think of something that truly scares me. What will be the consequences of my own complacency? Who is going to get jilted because of my unpreparedness? Even though I know who and what I am in the good times, I wonder what kind of person will I prove to be when the pressure is on.

14 thoughts on “Hannes’ Complacency

  1. I think all people who are deeply committed to something, something that demands a commitment of you anyway, wonder about this. They wonder what they would actually do if it ever came time to fight and die for it.

    …I sometimes wonder about the logistics of the situation, too. Angels are scary. Demons are scary. The abrupt appearance, on my doorstep, of even the tiniest portion of holy war would probably cause me to shit myself. And even if the object of my devotion and worship were to appear in a form that made sense to me (See: Angels appearing as men, despite not having bodies)… It would still be Him there. The physical manifestation of an Idea, a Concept, a part of the human psyche…Right there. Every “Him” there had ever been in any anime or show ever, all of it in the same location at once. All pale pathetic shadows of the real thing.

    I think I’d do a lot worse than shit myself. And there is no way I’d manage an active, un-cowardly response. What do you guys think you would do if you suddenly were put in a position to act instead of talk, so to speak?

    1. The more I think about it…I know God would have to just completely take over or I would be royally screwed as far as acting how I would want to act. There’d be some reliance like never before.

    2. The older I get, the more I realize how weak my convictions often are. Aside from the idea of the manifestation of God or an angel, which would I’m sure also cause me to become extremely fearful, I don’t trust myself to always stand by my convictions when “the time comes.” However, as I understand grace more and more each day – how God died for me, even when I ignore him or worse – I grow in my faith in Him, and perhaps will respond better if and when a special kind of adversity comes my way.

  2. Oh gosh, yes, I do the same. When things are going well, I get complacent, without even realizing it sometimes. And then, like clockwork, adversity/temptation/the devil comes my way and I realize how much more I need to grow.

  3. “Quote: However, as I understand grace more and more each day – how God died for me, even when I ignore him or worse – I grow in my faith in Him, and perhaps will respond better if and when a special kind of adversity comes my way.”

    Your religion (And thus the religion of my sister) speaks of a time when we’ll all get brought back from the dead at the same time and come for a reckoning. I have been informed that I will meet my Lord one day, when “the walls between us fall.” Eventually, then, we will all see whether we were faithful enough and if our convictions hold when the Truth of them is laid bare.

    Quote: “Oh gosh, yes, I do the same. When things are going well, I get complacent, without even realizing it sometimes. And then, like clockwork, adversity/temptation/the devil comes my way and I realize how much more I need to grow.”

    I think I fail this test every time I run into it. >___< Going to law school is brutal and my mother has early-onset inheritable Alzheimer's, so naturally I'm afraid of getting the disease myself. In some of my dumber moments, I'm prone to becoming desperate in a way that doesn't flatter me or my convictions. I do not have the indomitable willpower of Job, and that…makes me ashamed of myself honestly.

    I'm young yet, but I have a lot of room to become a better person than I am. Or at least a more intellectually honest one.

  4. Great post. Yes, I thought that was a powerful moment, and a very real moment, when Hannes was afraid to attack. I mean, who would attack a titan?!?! Even if your trained for it, most of the soldiers weren’t prepared (look at the body count in AoT).

    Though, i will say this. The media, even AoT, makes that feeling of helplessness, fear, dread and death so powerful yet we serve a mighty God who is greater than all those things. The devil isn’t so scary, neither are demons. Jesus Christ, just His name alone, makes the devil bow:

    Philippians 2:10
    that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

    When you face that adversity, myself included, look to the name of Jesus, our Savior and Lord, whose alive, sitting on the throne of Heaven, trusting in His will for our lives. Holy Spirit lives in those who believe, and even titans have to bow in the name of Jesus.

  5. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.”

    I realized from a thought experiment of sorts that it isn’t just His power that would cause you to bow—- It was or is His infallible, perfect nobility and kindness.

    With one caveat……and this I know. It is precisely that nobility and infinite forgiveness and love that causes the Devil to try and attack him rather than bow. What caused him to rebel. It is….a psychotic reaction that can only be explained by the deepest kind of despair. The kind that comes out of realizing that for all of your power and all of your Will and all of your effort, you can’t ever have the thing you actually wanted. The real Glory of God.

    I think those that are pure of Heart do not know how terrifying and brutal something like that is to something that is more banal, more evil. I think that’s why we’re scared of angels, and scared of God.

    1. All excellent points.

      You know, you know more about Christianity, true practicing Christianity, than so many Christians I know. Would you care to share why you aren’t a Christian yourself?

  6. There actually is a reason I know so much, other than a lot of obsessive familiarity with the holy war. Never get between a nerd and their religion fixation. XD It’s because I basically have what amounts to “insider info” —- Pretty sure from my sister’s account that this is similar-but-not-identical (Because it did not change my Heart along with it— Granted I’d probably have to be willing in order for Him to work. He does not act unless asked) to the prompts from the Holy Spirit given to most Christians.

    ……I actually worship a spirit I call “Mar.” That is most definitely not his name, but he seems to imply that basically no one calls him by his name anymore. It is actually a permutation of a name he’s used before, but I didn’t realize that until a decade later— Thought I’d made it up. And then afterward promptly felt like smacking my head into the wall a couple times.

    He was there to save me from myself when God was not. He was there to knock sense into me when God was not. He was there to tell me it was okay to be a kid with a disability when God was not. He was there to love me when God was not, in the only way He can do such things. He spoke to me, breathed into me, showed me the fire and passion and strength within him. All twisted around and inseparable from everything rotten within him as well. These events are rare, as rare as really being close to God, but they have meant all the world to me. They are the whole world to me.

    …..We have been together for a long, long time now. I have learned quite a bit about what he thinks about, how he operates, what he wants. Not much more than you know about His Majesty— A bit less in terms of the history, a bit more on the personality end. And I have learned a few other things besides…..namely, that He is related to this holy war of yours. That He is probably on the opposite side.

    I’d ramble more about the ideological underpinnings to this, the squicky moral complications, the strange finality of how screwed I probably am after I’m dead and how I don’t really feel bad about it….but this is probably enough Internet crazy person for one post.

    Suffice it to say….I’ve already sworn an oath. I’m already in love with a Master, and you cannot serve two of them. Only He could change that now….and first He would have to tell me why He gave me the sin of love.

    That’s the gist. Also, thanks for always responding in such detail to my posts on here. I’m a law student, so this is one of the most fun regular things I check. <3

    1. Thanks for sharing! I’m really interested in this relationship you’ve developed. You know where I’m coming from – that I do believe there’s even greater and more remarkable things in store for you – but I still think I get what you’re explaining and can certainly see why you feel this affinity, or rather allegiance. You seem to have quite an amazing story, and I certainly want to hear more about it.

      And thank you, as always, for joining us in your off time during law school!

  7. ….I always sort of cringe after bringing that up, though, because of how socially loaded it is to say it even on the Internet. Especially here! X3 In my case it’s just….the truth.

  8. Once again— You guys are so cool. 🙂 <3

    And that's about it, until the next round of posts develops. ^^

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