Church Confessions Everyone Has But Never Says Out Loud

Church Confessions Everyone Has But Never Says Out Loud

Church is a place for worship, community, and occasionally, zoning out. While we’re supposed to be laser-focused on spiritual uplift, human minds wander. From the mildly embarrassing to the slightly scandalous, there are thoughts most of us have during service but would never admit out loud. Here are some of the (lighthearted) secret inner monologues behind those seemingly devout faces in the pews.

1. “Is it over yet?”

Boredom is the enemy of spirituality. Even the most meaningful sermon can drag, especially if you’re sleep-deprived, hungry, or the pews are just REALLY uncomfortable. Clock-watching intensifies as lunchtime approaches, and the urge to subtly Google brunch spots can be overwhelming.

2. “Okay, who farted?”

Pews amplify… noises. The awkward shuffle and sudden side-eye directed towards a specific section tell the tale. The worst part? In the enclosed space of a church, with everyone trying to look solemn, there’s no graceful way to address the culprit.

3. “I could SO rock that choir solo.”

Then the first wobbly note hits, and your internal rock star deflates. Maybe it’s best to keep those vocal ambitions confined to the shower. Secretly judging the choir’s pitchiness is far safer, though it probably makes you less holy and more, well, human.

4. “Are these people judging my outfit?”

New dress? Suit jacket that’s a bit too loose? They cause a sudden panic you’re over or underdressed compared to everyone else. Church fashion is its own unspoken competition. Trying to focus on the message amidst a spiraling worry that your skirt’s hemline is scandalous is distracting, to say the least.

5. “I do not understand this bible reading.”

There’s too much archaic language, genealogies with a million “begats,” and those Old Testament verses that seem wildly inappropriate by modern standards. Yeah, sometimes the Bible is baffling. Trying to look like you comprehend when you’re secretly lost is a Sunday morning workout in pious-face acting.

6. “Please don’t make me hug that person.”

The “passing of the peace” is lovely in theory. In practice, it involves forced hugs with people whose perfume gives you hives or that slightly creepy dude who always lingers a bit too long. You try to channel Christian kindness, but internally you’re plotting escape routes.

7. “What if I just fell asleep mid-service?”

The combo of a comfy pew, a soothing voice, and Saturday night shenanigans can be a recipe for disaster. The frantic head-bob to stave off a full-on snooze session in the third row is a desperate battle fought in churches everywhere.

8. “This kid behind me is my own personal hell.”

They’re kicking the pew, whining, and all you can hear is the endless rustling of snack wrappers. Bless their parents, but also, it’s incredibly hard to maintain a sense of holy zen when the distraction is inches away. You desperately want to offer your own parenting advice but know any comment will unleash the wrath of a sleep-deprived mama bear.

9. “I’m totally googling that recipe later.”

The sermon starts veering towards casseroles, and suddenly your appetite is distractingly piqued. Mental grocery lists start forming as you plot how to tactfully ask Shirley about her famous seven-layer dip that’s always a hit at the potluck.

10. “Is it too late to change seats?”

Suddenly realizing you’re downwind of someone with intense perfume or the family with five hyperactive toddlers is pure panic fuel. Inventing a desperate need for the restroom to justify relocating is tempting, but ultimately, suffering in silence while stifling sneezes seems like the more polite course of action.

11. “Wait, what did they just say?”

Zoning out at the worst possible time means you missed something. Did the pastor just suggest a couples retreat involving skinny-dipping? You desperately glance around, hoping someone else caught it, but everyone else seems rapt… or asleep.

12. “I wonder if you can sneak a coffee in here.”

That giant thermos in the car suddenly becomes the most tempting thing in existence. Church rules about food and drinks vary, but that desperate caffeine craving makes the risk of sipping behind a hymnal seem almost justified.

13. “Okay, I just need make it through singing along off-key…”

There’s that ONE hymn you know you’ll butcher. The internal battle between soulful enthusiasm and the fear of horrified stares from fellow pew-dwellers is surprisingly intense. You start strong, but by verse three, it’s a valiant attempt at strategic mouthing-along.

14. “Wow, that person has the most amazing voice.”

Then a single, pure tone rings out from the choir, and it’s genuinely inspiring. You forget about your own vocal shortcomings and surrender to the beauty of the moment. See? Church can awaken the spirit, even amidst the occasional giggle-inducing distraction.

15. “I really shouldn’t have looked at my phone.”

One “quick” scroll during a lull turns into an epic social media black hole. Now you’re behind on responding to communion instructions, have forgotten what the sermon is even about, and the creeping guilt just makes you scroll… more.

16. “Maybe if I just close my eyes for a couple minutes…”

Not a full-on nap, just resting your eyelids. You rationalize it as meditative prayer… Then your chin jerks down, and you’re startled awake, desperately hoping no one witnessed your micro-slumber in the house of God.

17. “Despite it all, I’m glad to be here.”

Past the squirmy kids and questionable hymn choices, there’s something grounding about the ritual of church. The sense of community, the music (even when off-pitch), and even the awkward moments serve as reminders that we’re all flawed humans seeking connection and a bit of grace.

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Jeff graduated from NYU with a degree in Political Science and moved to Australia for a year before eventually settling back in Brooklyn with his yellow lab, Sunny, and his girlfriend, Mia. He works in IT during the day and writes at night. In the future, he hopes to publish his own novel.