Christians distinguish between “idols”, which distract from the divine, and “icons”, which point to the divine. Hypothetically, the same image could be either an “idol” or an “icon”, depending on how one approaches it.
It is similar to symbol and reality. To mistake the symbol for the complete reality would be “idolatry”—while using the symbol as a way to help remember and recognize what the symbol points to would be “iconography”.
This is how some Christian churches express reverence and veneration toward icons, understanding that the veneration is being expressed to the divinity the icon points to.
Does that make sense?