The word “icon” is defined in freedictionary.com as “an image, a representation”, a “representation of a sacred or sanctified Christian personage.” “Icons” or pictures of the Lord and of His saints are venerated by the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is interesting therefore, that in Colossians 3:10 the Bible says that Christians are “being renewed to a true knowledge according to the IMAGE of the One who created him.” The word “image” in that verse is the Greek word “icona” — we get our word “icon” from it!
Colossians 3:10 teaches us that God is in the process or renewing us. But what is the end of that process? It says the goal is that we will be made into “icons” of Christ — He is making us like HIM!
God’s purpose is to glorify Himself through His people, who are being made into “icons”, images of Him. As the inhabitants of the world see God’s people, they will know what God is like through us.
Unfortunately this is often our biggest failure as Christians: the world is not seeing what God is like through us. We are not representing Him well, because we are not much like Him.
It should be our prayer and aim that in every way, the world will see what God is like through us:
— Beginning in our own family; our kids should know what God is like because of their father.
— Those in church should know what God is like through their pastor.
— People with you on the job should know what God is like through the way you supervise, or work.
— Your neighbors should know what God is like because of your presence there.
— Those on mission fields should know what God is like through your sacrificial imitation of Jesus’ mission to earth.
In every way, in every sphere, our goal and purpose is that the world might know God better because of us. We are to be His “icons”; His images here on earth.